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L. Neil Smith's
Number 612, March 27, 2011

"Once again one more time"

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Letter from The Editor

Letter from Nale Osborn with reply by E.J. Totty

Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says
By Jason Palmer

A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.

The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.

And who says it's always bad news in the news?

The Editor

Re: "The letters between EJ Totty and Paul Bonneau in TLE #611:

The third is this: Any appropriation legislation put before the people may not encumber a voter who objects to the tax. So then, the people are protected by the third prong of the '2 out of 3' such that even if a law gets the 80% approval, no one whom objects is made to pay for it, i.e., paying for the enforcement of the law. So, even if you were against the law, you'd be fully exempted from paying anything (whatever tax, fee, or other monetary encumbrance) in the way of helping enforcement. All of that goes without saying that anyone opting out could not take advantage of whatever benefit, unless they paid in-full with interest charges prior to receiving that benefit.

Only one problem with this—with the stroke of a pen, you've mandated that records of your votes be kept—how else can you PROVE that you either A) voted FOR the tax on left-handed widgets so that your violet collection is protected, OR B) voted against that tax on left-handed widgets, and aren't required to pay the tax or allow violet inspector onto the property to protect them. You just created a "Tax-Voter Registration and History Card" and the bureaucracy necessary to monitor, regulate, and enforce both the taxpayers rights TO the benefit (and their obligation to pay for it) AND the anti-tax-voter's rights to be free from that tax and right to NOT use that "benefit".

Now, I LIKE the idea of a super-majority, though I prefer the 90% Neil specifies in "The Probability Broach", though I'll live with 80%. I also like the idea of pay for it if you want it, and don't if you DON't want it! So you aren't far off. However, letting the government have the pursestrings on ANYTHING other than the very basics required by the Constitution ISN'T the way to do things. Let's take highways, for instance. I'll use a (semi) successful program as an example. The Garden State Parkway, in New Jersey, was started as a toll road, to re-pay the taxpayers for the costs of construction, then the tolls were supposed to continue at reduced rates to cover maintennance. The GSP is one of the best maintained highways I've ever driven. Overall, there are fewer potholes, smoother pavement, and more exits to places you'd want to go than any other highway. THe problem is, the government saw it as a source of revenue after the construction costs were recovered. So instead of paying for maintaining the highway and reducing the tolls, the tolls keep rising,the government skims off an ever-increasing amount of the tolls, and the highways are being maintained more and more by tax-dollars (mostly gasoline taxes) and the condition of the highways shows that. The Easy-Pass system allows fast, efficient passage on the highway, you only pay for the parts you use, and you never pay if you don't enter the highway. If run by the state with a mandate that at the end of the year, ALL monies not spent on maintaining the road was returned to those who utilized it via refund to their Easy-Pass, fine. If run by a company for profit, fine. But letting the states control it, not so good if the state is allowed to make a profit on the system. If ALL government "benefits" were run on this basis (pay for it, use it—no pay, no use) I'd be fine. Because the government would swiftly either be out of that business (when the users saw how much cheaperand more efficient the competition was) or they would provide an excellent product. PLEASE do not take this as support for the government doing these things, I am only outlining the only way we should allow them to do things IF we are stupis enough to let them do ANYTHING but enforce our rights for those who cannot enforce those rights themselves!!!

Hoping this helps you fix your 3 step program, I am, respectfully, STILL onboard with the EJT system of government over our current mess.

Nale Osborn

To which E.J. Totty replied:


Regarding the vote:

It is my considered opinion that ALL votes should be made public, regardless. And why not? Who cares how you voted anyway?

See here, if you attend a political rally on the side of a particular candidate, isn't that tantamount to having voted for that person? So, they—whomever they are—already know your thoughts in that regard, and very likely how you'll vote.

And, since it would require 80% of the voters to agree to a law, and if only 70 percent showed, so what? Everybody would have to sign their ballots upon submission, and receive a carbon copy of their vote. Everyone else would simply keep their unmarked ballot for future reference.

There's a BIG benefit there: NO BALLOT SHENANIGANS. With secret ballots, you DO NOT KNOW if your vote was perverted. And, you don't know if there had been 'ballot box stuffing' going on.

Remember Uncle Joe Stalin? His famous saying: "It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes."

Now, with 'revealed' voting, the count is a known. If the voter tally sheet shows your vote as being different than your carbon copy, then you have recourse to declare the result invalid, and a new count done.

To address your concerns regarding the keeping of records, it would be an easy thing to outlaw the keeping of records beyond any one election cycle, such that all old results would be destroyed. REMEMBER: All laws—save the constitution—would sunset every three years. Ergo, the keeping of records not allowed by the constitution would be disallowed.

Regarding the GSP:

As with all other things, any such endeavor would be entirely a 'user fee' matter.

Or, as I've stated priorly: If you vote for it, you pay for it with the tax. If you use it, you pay for it; and if not, you don't. In whatever case of that, the government wouldn't control the purse strings, inasmuch as they wouldn't be able to raise taxes without the direct consent of the people themselves. So, in reality, it will be only those whom agree to pay that will be footing the bill for whatever boondoggle or other pork barrel project. And they will have only themselves to blame for whatever contretemps.

E.J. Totty


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