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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:07 pm 
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The February 24, 2020 Lost Horizons Newsletter
...where real knowledge intersects with real Americans!

***

The Fourth Branch
...of government, that is-- which is to say, "the people".

AS HAPPENS WITH DISTURBING REGULARITY, a little wave of Constitution-bashing has recently erupted, escpecially within the minarchist- and anarchist-oriented "alt-media". Each such instance deploys or relies upon some version of Lysander Spooner's famous assertion in 'No Treason' that "[W]hether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it."

Each such instance of Constitution-bashing also displays or relies upon an astonishing ignorance of some inconveniently contrary historical facts, such as the fact that SOMETHING prevented the rise of the corrupt Leviathan state for some 140 years after the adoption of that Constitution, as shown in this graph reflecting the overall size of the federal government from 1792-- shortly after the adoption of the current version of the Constitution-- until 2004 (and to which can be added in the mind's eye a great deal more upward growth since that latter date):

Continued...

*****

Observations And Comments On Current Events
Back-door Barr; the assault on Assange; Anti-Israel versus Anti-Semitism; and no, the health of the Great Lakes is NOT a "national security" issue.

Privacy v. Policing, or, AG William Barr Wants To Be America's "Back-Door" Man

WORD TO ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR (who is once again thumping the drum for back-doors into otherwise secure devices and communications): The solid security of individual privacy is FAR more important a public good than a robust ability of the law enforcement apparatus to penetrate that privacy. After all, a robust law enforcement ability to penetrate privacy could (and surely would) be turned to the foul purpose of thwarting any design of the People to exercise their authority-- indeed, their duty-- to throw off and abolish the current state, should it come to be widely enough seen as adverse to our well-being.

Such a critically-important design would rest heavily on the ability of individuals to communicate privately with each other, as well as their ability to assemble and otherwise coordinate activities free from any prying eyes of the state. In today's world, this makes uncompromised encryption capability in the hands of every American a critically-important civic good.

Uncompromised privacy is also the norm, here in America, especially. Contrary to the Nazi-like notions of AG Barr, the government has no more proper authority or valid need to pry into every conversation recorded on a cell-phone than it does to listen in to every conversation between two people sitting on a park bench.

Continued...

*****

About State Forums And Trolls Under The Bridge
Efforts to suppress truth are necessarily subtle, and exploit truth-lovers' natural virtues.

THE TROLL UNDER THE BRIDGE from the fairy tale 'The Billy Goats Gruff' is a great metaphor for the efforts of selfish interests to hamper or discourage the crossing of consciousness from ignorance to knowledge, or the crossing of knowledge from one to many. Or so it seems to me.
In any event, the term "troll" has been broadly adopted in the internet age to label and condemn participants in a dialogue whose purpose is destructive rather than constructive. Generally speaking, "trolls" are uninvited participants, or participants who secure invitations under false pretenses.

All of these things are pretty well-understood by most everyone engaging in dialogues, newsgroups and fora on the net. Less well-understood is that trolls which appear in certain circumstances are not driven by purely nihilistic, "want to watch the world burn" impulses.
Instead these trolls are working an agenda. These trolls take up residence under certain bridges in order to hobble the productivity of the other participants-- the efforts of which threaten the troll's interests or those of his clients and cronies.

CtC state fora are prime targets for such agenda-driven trolleries.

Continued...

*****

Other Voices
Wake Up, Senators!

An apt alarum and accolade by Eric Margolis, followed by an important afterword by Yours Truly.

Continued...

*****

And, of course, as always:
Illuminating Anniversaries For This Week!

*****

"I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves...too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: 'Our country, right or wrong!' They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: 'Our country--when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.'"
-Senator Carl Schurz, October 17, 1899


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