Conversation on Democratic Socialism

An excerpt from my novel in progress, The Metronome Misnomer.

Cover: The Metronome Misnomer

“Five seconds,” said the stage director.

Jennifer sat catercorner to her opponent, just elected to Congress, with the debate moderator between them.

“Three, two –”

Hand signal for one. Camera light on.

“Good evening,” said FNN news anchor, Shawn Oldman. “Our guests tonight are Senegal Diaz-Jaffe, newly elected Congresswoman from New York’s 14th Congressional District, and renowned arbitrator and TV judge Jennifer Solomon. Our topic for tonight’s point-counterpoint is the proper role of government in seeking social justice. Congresswoman, let’s start with you. You describe yourself as a democratic socialist. What, precisely, do you advocate?”

“Only that which almost every American has agreed upon for close to a century now. That everyone be treated with dignity and the least among us be afforded the equal access to adequate health care, education, and housing that the elite seize for themselves. We need to recognize that capitalism is a rapacious system that we’ve evolved beyond.”

“Judge Solomon?”

“Where does the money to pay for these benefits come from, Ms. Diaz-Jaffe?”

“The government.”

“And where does the government get the money?”

“It must tax those whose fortunes were made by exploiting the working poor.”

“Let’s leave out that your math doesn’t work – that even taking one-hundred percent of the wealth from the top ten percent can’t provide the services you’re demanding for the other ninety percent. So let’s ask the primary question. Exploiting how? How can there be exploitation when a worker is free to quit?”

“To quit and starve? Not be able to pay for rent and food? That’s not a real choice.”

“It’s not a real choice to take a job elsewhere, or start their own business to compete with their former employer?”

“That’s a fantasy. Most start-ups end in bankruptcy.”

“What about those whose fortunes were made by their own hard work and superior products enriching everyone?”

“No one is an island,” Diaz-Jaffe said. “Everyone is dependent on everyone else. The rich get a free ride from publicly funded schools and colleges training their workers, direct taxpayer subsidies, legal shields against the harm their products cause to others.”

“That’s called limited liability and I’ll immediately concede these laws distort the market, allowing a corporation to grow larger than the marketplace would otherwise allow. Nonetheless even a company with such legal shielding must compete to win their share of customers, who freely choose their product or service over the existing alternatives.”

“Unless the government stifles the competition,”said the Congresswoman.

“I agree again,” said Jennifer. “The solution isn’t more government regulation – which is always used to protect one company from its competition – but to eliminate the government preferencing and allow competition to do its job. Your problem – Congresswoman Diaz-Jaffe – is that you detect arsenic in drinking water and wish to replace it with cyanide. If you had studied real economics your solution to market corruption wouldn’t be the fascism you label democratic socialism but the truly free market Agorism I advocate.”

Copyright © 2018 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.

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Why Donald Trump Is Not Richard Nixon

I’m an anarchist. Anything I write in this essay is not as an anarchist theorist but as an opinion journalist speaking in common political terms.

Richard Nixon’s presidency ended many of the imperial powers of the presidency that Nixon had enjoyed as a gift from Lincoln as president during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson from World War I, and from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Lyndon Baines Johnson, from World War II and Cold-War enterprises including the Korean and Vietnam unwars.

Watergate weakened the presidency transferring power to courts, lawyers, bureaucrats, and somewhat to the Congress– and neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump have been able to exercise the power twentieth-century presidents had. People forget that George W. Bush was elected in 2000, the last year of the twentieth century; the September 11, 2001 attacks — though at the opening of the twenty-first century — gave Bush 43 a chance to exercise powers that only pre-Nixon presidents had owned.

To quote the Wikipedia article Saturday Night Massacre:

“The Saturday Night Massacre was a series of events on the evening of Saturday, October 20, 1973, during the Watergate scandal in the United States. U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Richardson refused and resigned effective immediately. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; Ruckelshaus refused, and also resigned. Nixon then ordered the third-most-senior official at the Justice Department, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox. Bork considered resigning, but did as Nixon asked. The political and public reaction to Nixon’s actions were negative and highly damaging to the president. A new special counsel was appointed eleven days later on November 1, 1973, and on November 14, 1973, a court ruled that the dismissal had been illegal.”

And that was that for the Imperial Presidency. Presidential powers, both foreign and domestic, are still fulsome, but just aren’t what FDR enjoyed.

Donald Trump & Richard Nixon
U.S. Presidents Donald Trump & Richard Nixon

It’s hard to be the Führer when a former functionary like John Brennan can call you a traitor with zero consequence.

Or when any federal-court judge can reverse any presidential executive order or reverse a Department of Justice order that federal funds be withheld from cities in rebellion against federal law.

Fascism just ain’t what it used to be.

The question remains whether Trump could take back lost presidential powers.

If the 2018 midterms keep both houses of Congress in GOP hands, could President Trump fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — and have his next-in-line fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller — with Trump not facing impeachment from his own party as Nixon did?

It would require Trump to understand that he’s not the CEO of a business enterprise — but a Caesar — for him to do it.

My friend and political advisor (not an anarchist) Brad Linaweaver tells me not to hold my breath.

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Mars Pirate Radio Interviews J. Neil Schulman on The Fractal Man and Multiversal Living

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142 Logo

Episode 142 of MPR features Doug Turnbull’s July 16th interview with J. Neil Schulman.

During this interview Turnbull and Schulman discuss The Fractal Man, his newest SF novel.

They also discuss at some length, the concept of the multiverse that is an important feature of the novel, and how this concept fits into Schulman’s personal experience.

It is quite a spirited discussion and Turnbull thinks you will enjoy it.

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An Open Letter to Wendy McElroy


Dear Wendy,

I respect you.

Sincerely,

Neil

Link: April 13, 2011 — My Unfinished 30-Year-Old Debate with Wendy McElroy republished in Origitent: Why Original Content Is Property (Steve Heller Publishing, 2018)

Author Wendy McElroy
Author Wendy McElroy

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Now a $0.99 Amazon Kindle: The Fractal Man!


My fourth novel, The Fractal Man, was just published by Steve Heller Publishing as an Amazon Kindle selling for $0.99! And it’s free to read if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited!

Click here or on the cover to go to the Amazon page.

The Fractal Man book cover

You can also use the link http://TheFractalMan.com.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

J. Neil Schulman’s fourth novel, The Fractal Man, could only be penned by a writer who wrote scripts for The Twilight Zone.

It’s a fictional autobiography of lives he never lived.

The story begins when David Albaugh is awakened by a phone call from his best friend, who’s been dead for nine years, telling him they’re late for a science-fiction convention panel.

David’s alternate realities only start there.

If only his abstract photography recommended to New York’s Museum of Modern Art by a photographer for Mad Magazine had been exhibited; if only General Electric had taken up his idea for a practical jet belt when he was 11; if only he’d had the money to execute his own business plan and corner the market on eBooks a decade before Jeff Bezos.

David’s journey to parallel timelines takes him to a world where people and cats can fly but dogs can’t; commissions him as a battlefield general in a war between totalitarians and anarchists; as the bringer of music to a world that’s never heard it; as the head of a movie studio making the Superman/Spider-Man movie; as the explorer of a dead world and the real-estate developer of a new one.

What if there was a war where a loved one can be dead in one world and alive in another? What if different systems of social order were dominant in different universes resulting in extreme conflicts when they met? What if parallel lives could be fused into a melding of personalities and talents?

What if some of your favorite celebrities have entirely different lives in parallel worlds?

The Fractal Man asks and offers speculative answers to these questions.

A stand-up narrative establishes a central flow-through yet many vignettes can be read as stand-alone short stories.

Redefining theoretical physics into possible cosmologies, Schulman employs intrigue and suspense to rewrite everything we think we know about the rules of existence.

This is what science fiction was made for.

Early Praise for The Fractal Man:

“J. Neil Schulman’s The Fractal Man takes MetaFiction to a new level. It’s a wildly entertaining collision of the 20th and 21st Centuries. There is something new under the sun.”
— Brad Linaweaver, Author, Editor, Publisher, Filmmaker, Teacher

“Assuming you know what ‘space opera’ is, this is “timeline opera” done with the exuberance of a Doc Smith novel.”
–Eric S. Raymond, “Armed and Dangerous”

If you are interested in writing a review of The Fractal Man for publication and want a review copy in PDF format, please contact Steve Heller at editor@stevehellerpublishing.com.

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Control


Gun control isn’t about guns. It’s about control.

Neither is the word “gun” in the Second Amendment. It reads,

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The word “arms” as a category includes guns but projectile-throwing weapons are only a limited part of what in the past have been used as arms. Guns, like swords, may in the future be retired in favor of other technology used as arms. They might not even look like guns such as the phasers on Star Trek or earlier blasters in Forbidden Planet or be based on past bladed weapons such as the lightsabers in Star Wars. You want my speculations? Pay me to write more science fiction.

My last article here is titled “The Scope of the Second Amendment” and argues that arms protected by the Second Amendment is a category far more inclusive than guns.

So when I state that “gun control” isn’t about guns but about control, I’m arguing that who is armed is the defining question of all politics.

A country in which arms are the monopoly of the State and only the State’s favored few may be armed is a monarchy, empire, dictatorship, aristocracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy, junta, gang, or cult. Its anthems, television, and parades may represent itself as democratic but those of its people who are unarmed exist according to the decisions of bullies who are armed.

We see that in any complex political system, such as exists in the United States today, it’s relatively easy to complicate laws such that clearly stated constitutional limits can be negated by “well, they didn’t mean that.”

If the Second Amendment was written when the common soldier’s field weapon was a musket, “well, they weren’t thinking about high-capacity-magazine-fed semi-auto rifles such as the AR-15.” Never mind that this imaginative view of supposedly unimaginative founders would also mean that the First Amendment protections of journalists would only apply to those writing with quills, not on the Internet; and the Fourth Amendment mentioning “persons, houses, papers, and effects” wouldn’t cover Winnebagos or smartphones.

Certainly the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to non-citizens, drug-traffickers, ex-cons, and the mentally unstable –this last being a new omnibus classification for anyone who looks at you funny. Keep on going. I’m sure with just a bit more work you can remove rights from anyone not in your exclusive club.

It’s easy to use government — particularly local government — to control anyone who doesn’t meet the standards of the Chamber of Commerce.

That’s the point I’m making.

Revoutioary Dawn

The Second Amendment was one of ten demands recent revolutionaries made if they were going to cooperate with the newly formed central government. As for local government — dealing with your neighbors — well, feuds were still legal back then.

The Second Amendment is, more than anything written since the Declaration of Independence itself, a reservation of the right to overthrow tyrants — and the arms potentially pointed at their heads are maintained to remind them that their exercise of power over the lives and livelihoods of their compatriots is sharply limited, defined, and temporary.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to forestall the necessity of another revolution by reminding those who exercise political power that the government makes nothing, owns nothing, and makes use only of what the people allow it to control.

So trust me on this. Having spent some decades hanging around with gun owners — and I mean people not with a gun or two but with an arsenal or two — they know why they keep well-armed and if you try to control them another well-regulated revolution is what will be the result.

If you’re lucky.

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The Scope of the Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
–Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Statists who wish aristocratic domination over the people often enough interpret the Second Amendment as an historical dead-letter preserving only trivial hunting rights. They nullify the ability of the people to organize as law-enforcing militia. In their view militias (that means armed civilians, organized or not) have been replaced by armed paramilitary police forces and the various state and national military guards.

I don’t rely on the dissembling interpretations of those mendacious crats.

Neither, however, do I take the narrow interpretation of the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, or John Lott, that the Second Amendment is only about guns.

Some advocates are willing to include bladed weapons as arms. To me even that is a far too narrow interpretation.

The Second Amendment says “arms.” The crats want that to be as narrow as possible.

I’m a libertarian who insists that the interpretation be as broad as possible.

Here’s where I stretch out my arms and literally reach for the stars.

The Second Amendment protects anything the human mind can devise to expand and protect human liberty.

Anything.

The rest of this essay will give some examples but — like the Ninth Amendment which reads “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” — is not to be considered exhaustive.

J. Kent Hastings
J. Kent Hastings
Libertarian, Second Amendment Professional,
Crypto-expert, Internet maven, HAM


Hard Cryptography

This is the one which already has some legal precedents, since, as late as 1992, cryptography was on the U.S. Munitions List as an Auxiliary Military Equipment.

Since cryptographic codes have already been classified as arms, they’re already protected under the Second Amendment and – by extension – the possession and use of cryptocurrency are protected by the Second Amendment as well.


Motor Vehicles

Are motor vehicles useful in warfare? Without question. Motorized vehicles are ubiquitous in military use – everything from Jeeps to tanks to armored transports. Being used in war has a legal precedent. In the Supreme Court case United States v. Miller (1934) the court wrote, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

Motor vehicles are ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


Aircraft

It would be difficult to find any kind of aircraft – fixed, movable, or rotary winged – piloted or drone – that is not part of ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


The Internet

The Internet was first developed and used by DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Department of Defense. So the Internet is protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


All Other Communication Devices

Does the military use radio? HAM and CB Radio is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

Television? Yep.

Cell phones? Yes, sir.


Chemicals

Can you find things under your kitchen sink that might have military use? Then it’s protected by the Second Amendment.

Is something in your medicine cabinet used by the military? Something growing in your greenhouse, hydroponics garden, aquaponics pond? If it has any military use the Second Amendment protects your possession and use of it.


Biologicals

If any procedure, treatment, or device has ever been used by the military, the Second Amendment protects its civilian use.


Rocketry

Rocketry has been of military use going back as far as the ancient Chinese. Therefore it is of military use and protected by the Second Amendment.

I told you I would reach for the stars. Congratulations, Elon Musk. Falcon Heavy with its cherry-red Tesla Roadster now being driven to the Asteroid Belt by “Star Man” is protected by the Second Amendment.

Communication satellites? Satellite mapping? You bet.


The General Principle

Okay. I could go on forever. Here’s the principle: If anything has military use it is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

And if you want to maintain the principles – or at least the pretense — of law and order, supremacy of civilians over the military demands this principle be recognized in both statutory law and court rulings.

If you don’t, stop pretending you believe in law and order, or liberty, or even such flawed collectivist concepts as democracy.

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Now Available Complete Audio: The Robert Heinlein Interview



Just in time for Christmas!
Available for the first time ever!

The Complete Audio Interview
J. Neil Schulman’s The Robert Heinlein Interview
Foreword by Brad Linaweaver

Heinlein Complete Audio Cover
Click Cover to Listen to Sampler


“I’ve been encouraging Neil for years to bring out his interview with Robert as a book. To my knowledge, this is the longest interview Robert ever gave. Here is a book that should be on the shelves of everyone interested in science fiction. Libertarians will be using it as a source for years to come.”
–Virginia Heinlein


Audio Contents:

Robert Heinlein Interview: Brad Linaweaver Foreword
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 1
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 2
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 3
Robert Heinlein Interview Audio Part 4 to End of Interview

Bonus PDFs:

Complete Book: The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana
Pulpless.Com, 1999

Note from Bill Patterson


Buy Now for only $35.00!


Download Page link will be emailed



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Deep in the Heart of Taxes


Remember me? I’m the guy who wrote Alongside Night, a novel about the United States’ economy collapsing due to the Federal Reserve inflating the dollar to pay for the government spending far more than taxes collected.

What is the national debt today? Somewhere around 23 trillion bucks? And if you figure in future obligations — Social Security, Medicare, promises made to veterans for wounds sustained in endless undeclared wars — I hear the debt comes to somewhere around 160 trillion bucks.

President Donald Trump is calling for significant tax cuts to attract foreign investment, give corporations reason to build new factories in America, bring jobs back to America.

Of course I noted in Alongside Night — published in 1979 — that if the government keeps spending more money than it collects in taxes and tariffs the only way to pay for that spending is for the Federal Reserve to make each dollar worth less, a hidden tax.

So anyone who claims that tax cuts “have to be paid for” — while making the obnoxious claim that anything the people say they own has a lien from the goddam guvmint — they are in fact pointing to a basic principle of reality: you can’t get something out of nothing.

What’s a libertarian to do?

How about this? Tell the truth.

Cutting taxes leaves people and financial institutions with more money to spend. That’s money that can be paid to executives to live a more lavish lifestyle, and the Democratic critics do have that right. Just because a corporation has more money on its balance sheet doesn’t mean they’ll use it to make anything or create new jobs. That’s mostly what happened when in 2008 banks were forced to take taxpayer money that was supposed to be used to make consumer loans.

But let’s say that individuals in the “middle class” — the Marxists used to call that the bourgeoisie — take that money and instead of buying new cars, phones, and toys — they use that money in ways the crats don’t like. They start-up unlicensed and unregistered home schools. They use spare rooms and vacation cabins to compete with hotel chains, use their mommy vans to compete with medallion taxis. They sell jams, pies, home-brew beverages to local stores.

And conceal all this entrepreneurial activity financed with the money not being turned over to Uncle Sam from Uncle Sam.

Same for “small businesses” doing home repairs, or plumbing, or rebuilding car transmissions, or rigging your automobile’s computer to lie to the State about the CO2 emissions because CO2 emissions being the cause of climate change is anti-science globaloney.

Agorist trading floor
The Agorist Trading Floor in Alongside Night the Movie

Yes, President Trump. Bring on the tax cuts. The economy that the tax cuts will save is the one that exists in spite of Jekyll Island and Wall Street.

The economy run by Washington crats? The swamp you talk about? That official economy is doomed and I think you’ve already figured that out.

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Childish Things

A challenge from award-winning authors/filmmakers, J. Neil Schulman and Brad Linaweaver

Words matter. Without clear definition there is no communication, only blather. Even blather has a definition.

As authors who respect language we have always resisted the idea that a word can mean anything the speaker or writer wants it to mean, as Humpty Dumpty does in Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there. The most misused word today is pedophilia.

Alice as drawn by her author

An accusation has been made that an Alabama politician had some kind of sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. All sorts of negative language can be used here without confusion. Instead, the talking heads in the media keep using the term “accused pedophile.”

The word used to mean “an ongoing sexual attraction to pre-pubertal children.” Human experience has long used biological puberty as the dividing line between childhood and adulthood. This is a case where creationists and evolutionists agree 100%. We see this preserved in religious traditions such as the bar mitzvah where a boy becomes a man at age 13, and the more recent bat mitzvah where a girl becomes a woman at age 12. We see it in classical literature where in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is considered in jeopardy of being an old maid at age 13.

Today “childhood” ends whenever a public official wants it to end. We see that when even a six-year-old can be tried for a felony as an adult and 14-year-olds are commonly transferred to be tried in adult criminal courts. See Wikipedia.

Apparently the parameters of pedophilia have changed. William Alan Ritch has been endeavoring for years to figure out the new meaning based solely on age difference. By that standard, the most notable example of age discrepancy is between God and Mary in the New Testament. We can use the Bible if everyone else does.

Here’s an idea. We would like to see the new definition of pedophilia in a law book, a medical journal, a dictionary or encyclopedia, a charter or other authoritative treaty. We need to know before we continue the hunt for pedophiles. Where is the definition of pedophilia? What the fuck is it?

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