July 31st, 2013
We start this episode by considering a recent supreme court case questioning whether or not remaining silent could potentially be used as admission of guilt.
We relaize this premise is amazingly absurd, but it’s really happening nevertheless.
We also discuss GMOs and specifically patented seeds and how lawmakers have spent years attempting to gain traction in this area. Philosophically though, we wonder how these bills ever make it on the docket in the first place.
Jad eventually takes us down the rabbit hole of discussing how the American form of government came to be.
Speaker 1: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?
Speaker 2: No, sir.
Jad: Hello and welcome to the JK podcast, an anti- authoritarian philosophical endeavor recorded in Austin, Texas. We draw our topics from the entire scope of the human experience with sinful connecting themes focused on the grand ideas of liberty, humanity and equality.
Kevin: The JK podcast is hosted by Jad Davis and Kevin Ludlow. Welcome back to another episode. We start this episode by considering a recent Supreme Court case questioning whether remaining silent could potentially be used as an admission of guilt. We realize that this premise is amazingly absurd, but it’s really happening nevertheless. We also discuss GMO’s and specifically patented seeds and how lawmakers in spent years attempting to gain traction in this area. Philosophically though, we wonder how these bills ever make it onto the docket in the first place. Jad eventually takes us down the rabbit hole of discussing how the American form of government came to be.
Jad: Here’s something, again, this is one of those things where it’s so easily discountable because nothing’s really happened yet, but do you see the Supreme Court – you’ve commented on my post on Facebook – the Supreme Court is considering whether remaining silent at the time of your arrest can be used as a –
Kevin: Admission of guilt.
Jad: Evidence of your guilt.
Kevin: That’s fucking crazy.
Jad: I love it.
Kevin: I mean correct me if I’m wrong, but the first Miranda right is you have the right to remain silent, like that’s how it starts.
Kevin: Yeah man, I did see that there read about it. You know, it’s like how is that even get to the Supreme Court.
Jad: I guess that’s the question because when I posted it, somebody you know – all my friends are like reasonable progresses right, so they are always just like – and you know, I don’t mean this in nefarious way, but they’re just always like ready to excuse the system or you know, or explain how the system works.
Jad: Like I don’t understand how this is – so it’s like, oh well, this is just – it’s gotten to the Supreme Court. But that’s my question is like how the fuck does nine levels of courts or however the fuck many there are be like, “hmm, this is at the something worth considering.”
Kevin: Yeah. It takes a lot to get a case heard in front of the Supreme Court. There’s not very many Supreme Court cases every year.
Kevin: So yeah, that’s just fucked up. I mean, you’d think that wouldn’t – that one should get shot down at a local court, never mind getting appealed to circuits, and counties, and et cetera.
Kevin: That just doesn’t make sense.
Jad: No I mean that’s – exactly. In a system that – I would imagine I would be willing to live under – the first time that the local police or whatever are like, “well here’s what we did. We’re going to use this evidence, the fact that he didn’t say anything when we arrested him.” Those guys would immediately go to jail and never be allowed to be police or the entire unit would be disbanded. Whatever homicide group, whatever city would just not exist anymore and be – like this is the worst I guess – it’s pretty minor on the long list of things that happen and you know, in police stations or whatever, but it’s just crazy.
Kevin: And deaf people are just – they’re just fucked – I mean the deaf and the mute I mean, they’re – they can go nowhere with this. They’re like, “well, he didn’t say anything the whole time.” Well he had his tongue cut out eighteen years ago, but –
Jad: Well then he must be guilty of everything.
Kevin: I don’t what to say.
Jad: Good point. Good point. Let’s say that there’s a – I really like this, this is one of my touchstones for a morality or whatever it is – that you can’t claim good moral behavior for anything that a person in a coma can’t do. You can’t claim bad moral behavior for anything that a person in a coma fails to do so like you know essentially, if you were like, “oh it’s good that people do X”, or whatever then you [?] past the coma test – is the new touchstone or whatever. Whether or not it’s actually morally good or if it’s just you kind of prefer people to do or not do X.
Kevin: Right. Right. That’s interesting – an interesting way to look at that.
Jad: Yeah. It’s not possible [?] passively evil I guess maybe is the larger thing, I don’t know.
Kevin: Yeah. Do you know when that case is to be heard by the Supreme Court?
Jad: No, I don’t know and I’m probably not even gonna follow it. There’s just too much shit like that, but I don’t know when they’re gonna hear it.
Kevin: You’d like to think that they’re gonna just immediately shoot down, but in this day and age who the fuck knows.
Kevin: In some cases, the police do have a right to assume that you are guilty based upon your silence.
Jad: It’s important for a fully informed jury to understand.
Kevin: Is it my – now I’ve gotta look up what the amendment is here in the Bill of Rights because I’m pretty sure –
Jad: Yeah, we cannot be compelled to testify – well I mean, I guess [?] the exact wording. The thing is too, I had this – so did you see the – I blinked[?] the thing to it last week where it was like, house bill 105, or 185 or whatever – a fairly low number because I guess it’s a new year – where they’re like saying that if you have patented seeds and you grow the crop and you collect the seeds from the crop you have to register that fact with you know, whatever US – what is it, USDA or whoever the agriculture people are –
Jad: – you’ve gotta register and it can be the case that you have to pay the original seller an ongoing fee to continue to collect and resell the – collect the seeds from the plants that you’ve grown so yeah, obviously like every place where people are like GMO activists, people are just fucking up in arms right – and rightfully so. But the bill has – the website I found it on, which I should try to find that again because it was kind of cool – it had the percentage chance that it was going to pass, and that percentage is like 3 or something. It was like nobody supports this, nobody blah, blah. This comes up every three months. They propose this, and nothing happens with it. And I’m like well why the fuck do they do that? Is the point to like get everyone upset about shit that’s never going to happen so that they can also at the same time be doing actual real shift, awful, and no one’s paying attention because everyone is worried about gun restrictions and GMO’s, and all the things that don’t actually do anything ever –
Jad: – but they’re just kind of the you know, sound and fury around bank bailouts all these other things that are actually really critical – maybe, who knows – but they like get zero attention.
Kevin: Well I mean, all I can guess is that it has to do with the lobbying and things like that, just that you get some lobbyists that are like, “no, let’s go ahead and try to push that through again. I mean many of the judges are elected officials also, so they fall under that same political system, obviously, so –
Kevin: I guess.
Jad: So in 12 or 15 years it finally passes after the five thousandth time they’ve opposed it – that kind of thing?
Kevin: We spend a million dollars a year to get it on the docket so at least it’s talked[?] about. Started off at 1%, went to 3, now we’re at 7, couple more years we’re gonna be at 14%, before long we have a tipping point of 25% and now people are actually paying attention to it and we’re gonna get some motivation. I mean, I have no idea; it’s fucked up to think about. The fact that that may very well be accurate – what I just described – but I wouldn’t put it past our system.
Jad: No, that’s actually a very reasonable explanation. I think that’s probably more likely than the cloak of noise theory that I have.
Kevin: Well, I like your cloak of noise theory also.
Jad: I’m sure I’ll have reinvented it in 5 or 6 days you know, like, “this is a cloak of noise”, and totally have forgotten the –
Kevin: They’re like, “wait a second.”
Jad: – the reasonable alternate.
Kevin: That was a completely different cloak last time we spoke about this
Jad: So that brings me to another excellent rant I had a day when I was a pre- high and I was like I’m gonna – so way back when, when I first was experiencing with marijuana and other experience altering drugs, I really was convinced, like so many – I think it’s pretty – a fairly common experience – that I was having some profound novel experiences, and so I was trying to write them down and you know and record them blah, blah, blah. And of course they are not that profound. They are profound subjectively, but for some reason the objective artifacts are ever as profound as the subjective experience. Even though I’ll say that there is a lot of value and I think I had some fairly large shifts of perspective, but nothing I ever wrote documented the magnitude of that experience. But every now and then I will smoke something especially great and I’m like, “oh, I gotta [?] this stuff”.
So the other day I was having a thought and it goes like this, we are governed by a system which is largely the – what do I wanna call it – the invention of like two or three hundred – to give as much credit as we can – very intelligent people, 300 years ago, right? I mean, you talk about like the people who sat down or like wrote the articles of Confederation and later the Constitution. They’re – let’s just say they’re just mind-bending human geniuses, right? But there’s like 200 of them, all things told – maybe not even that many, I don’t really know, but maybe it’s less than 100 – and really what they did was to sort of take all the writings about governance, and justice, and ethics and all that from the Greeks and the Romans that wrote down essentially what they were thinking about when they were setting up their systems of government, and just kind of transcribed them really.
I mean there’s not that much difference between the other Roman Republic, structurally and the American Republic. So they saw some lessons and they were like, “oh well you know, Roman Republic had problems because the executive had too much power, so will put this check and make sure”, blah, blah, blah. But like that’s kind of the system we’re living under was devised under those circumstances. So now we’re 300 years on, there are millions and millions of people that have read everything that those hundred or two hundred people ever read, and read everything that those people have ever written, and read everything that every leader since then has written as far as like their reasoning for why their building system asked it to maintain social cohesion or whatever.
Jad: And the 80 people or so – I should look this up – how many people fucking wrote the Constitution? Like a hundred and something?
Kevin: Well, there weren’t too many colonies at the time, so yeah I mean, probably a hundred and some odd.
Jad: Right. So whenever one of them was like, “hey, I have an” – you know, “it occurs to me that giving the military the right to barracks soldiers in people ‘s houses leads to know unhappy people, and it’s an unnecessary burden on the person whose house is being occupied, and also it allows for a large standing army to the barracked inside a civilian population and so we should not allow people to – we should not allow the government that we’re going to build to force people to barracks soldiers and their house”, right? And he writes a letter to Benjamin Franklin, “here’s the thought I had about blah, blah, blah”, and then he gives it to some guy who rides a horse or I don’t know, gives it to a bird or whatever the hell that happens, and months later, Benjamin Franklin gets the thing and was like, “oh, that’s a great idea. Here’s what I think about that”, and he writes something back.
Like everything about that time was slow and ponderous and you know, and so there’s limitations on how – on the artifacts that are going to come out of that. The point of this whole setup is can’t we imagine that there’s got to be a way to do things better than that and taking the same process of like, let’s discuss the ground rules for our civilization. Let’s do an analysis of what principles work best for human flourishing. Like we have all of this, we’ve got 300 years later of communication, and science, and thinking, and reasoning, and yet we’re running under the same system that was essentially designed to keep slaves pacified and keep indentured servants working for their masters, and pay back banks for loans taken out by the revolutionary army. I just seems like it’s a preposterous position to say that the governing structure generated in that time and era is going to be at all adequate to the modern purpose.
Kevin: Well I think you get a lot of people that share that sentiment of yours there. The problem with it I guess is that there’s an upside and a downside to it, right? Basically what I mean is that if you consider – well, classic example relevant to exactly today is the whole 2nd Amendment debate, right? There’s a philosophical notion behind the 2nd Amendment and if you look at that, philosophically, it does make sense. It makes sense to somebody like you I assume, and it makes sense to somebody like me, but to a lot of people doesn’t make any sense at all and their take is to say, “Wait a second; we’re in a completely different time period”. Even if there are nefarious government leaders, the fact the matter is that the world as a whole has gotten better. People live much longer, they have access to things.
There are different poor people, are definitely enslaved people, but as a whole, there are far more people now who are in a better position than, say they would have been in say, the 1700s or whatever you wanna take as a time period. And so their argument, of course, is to say well, “this is specifically why we don’t need to have the same type of a self-protectionism that we had, say 300 years ago and you can make for and against that all day long as people have been doing of course. There are some reasons to say the 2nd Amendment should be held up unquestionably, and there other reasons to say well, maybe it should be held up, but with restrictions, and then there’s other people who say it should just be gone – that we shouldn’t have guns. And so I think that the counterpoint perhaps is just that those things in themselves become rather subjective as far as what needs to be updated, what needs to changed, what needs to be restructured to fit our current society and I guess the arguments are that what we should be holding onto – and I agree with this, in theory anyway – what we should be holding onto are the philosophies of a governing structure, and of course we’ve gotten pretty far from that now. We’re really litigating really granular specific sorts of things.
So I guess all I’m saying is just that I don’t disagree with you I. I think of that could be very beneficial, but I guess it also depends who was the person or who were the group of people who were actually trying to be the ones to quote on quote, modernize the governing document, right?
Jad: Yeah, dude. What you said – that’s exactly why when I’m high as hell, the arguments I come up with aren’t all that powerful because yeah, to go ahead and carry it as far as I can, it’s not a – and it’s funny when you said the 2nd amendment, you’re totally right. Like it totally fits that argument in the, “we need to rethink the 2nd Amendment”. It’s no longer a – what everyone would say – frontier Indian fighting British fighting society, and so we don’t need this provision for weapon you know, for the protection of individual freedom to have weapons anymore. I never – I think the fact that my argument supports that position is pretty revealing of the possible side effects or the possible whatever you wanna call it – the downside of that position. But what I’m thinking of is something sort of more visceral and fundamental, right? Beyond the 2nd Amendment, beyond the Constitution, what so – what are the rules by which we’re going to win – and everyone is in this discussion, right? Everyone who has access to a keyboard or can record their voice, what are the essential principles that we can draw out of the human experience by which people should be governed, or by which we would want to build institutions that provide direction for her for how we behave, or however you wanna say it, but the point being that the government as they exist now, the 17 whatever, 86 Constitutional thing and the models of governance that it was based on one of the principals is – and this is what I think the great trick of the 1786 thing is that the principle is that all men are created equal, right, theoretically.
Jad: But it’s genuinely not.
Jad: Like I said, there’s an entire category of people, both slaves and people that we would consider to be slaves, people who were like travel across the ocean and then work for 7, or 10, or 12 years or whatever it is, in order to not be someone’s slave anymore, all those categories of things, The Constitution is constructed to stop them from leaving, right? The Constitution is built – the purpose of it is to maintain a slave state.
Kevin: Okay. Yeah. I mean I think to some degree, I think that’s probably correct.
Jad: Right. At least and so far as we need to maintain, we can’t structure government in such a way that all the people that are either slaves, or indentured servants or whatever walk away from their obligations. There are people who are in debt, they have to pay what they owe you know, to the people who that money is owed to, and the people that money is owed to are the people who are making up the government at different levels. So point being, that sort of governance, now we have abandoned all of the things that made that government necessary, right? That level of slavery we do not consider to be something that should be legitimately protected anymore.
Jad: Oh, the second part of it – which I think is kind of interesting – is that the other purpose of the Constitution, especially vis-à-vis the articles of Confederation, is that while the war is going on, while the war for independence is happening, there’s this same small group of people – the ones that write the Constitution – that are essentially saying, “loan us money so we can build an army, so we can get rid of the British and then we will assume the power of taxation and get you your money back, and so it’s a good – if you think we’re going to win, it’s a good investment because if we win we can take whatever we want from anybody we want, wherever we want, and so you know you’re going to get your money back.
Kevin: Right. Yeah.
Jad: So the purposes of that state, to maintain the power relation – which is the purpose of every state – to maintain the power relationships and to extract resources from the population to usually pay back the people who bankrolled the revolution or the takeover in the first place. So the idea that that structure is what is reasonable for us to live under today, not like this – and I totally appreciate the 2nd Amendment thing is a great example – but bigger than that, the whole thing, rethinking the very foundation of how we relate to each other as human beings, it seems like where you know, 300 years ago I think it’s not unreasonable to be like, “well, take the top thousand literate people that can read Greek, and can read Aristotle, and Plato, and Cicero, and all those guys, and let them get together and figure this out because it’s a problem we never saw – it’s not like that anymore. The answers are clear now. The fact that all people – including slaves and women or whatever – are human beings and should be a pure relationship with you know, with white Western men or whatever, is not a mystery. It’s not like – that’s not a controversial statement.
And that’s where we leave it for this episode. Thanks to Lee Caffey [Sp?] and Chris Baton for providing us with quality sound engineering and editing. We wouldn’t get far without them. Hosting services are provided by CityCore, LLC. Our graphical caricature was provided by our friend, Sayeed Mod Badril Sham [Sp?] in Malaysia, and transcription services are provided by Deidra Alexander of Galaxy Creative Media. If you have any questions, comments, ideas for a show, or just want to say hello, we love receiving e-mail. You can find Jad at www.Jad-Davis.com, and you can find Kevin at www.KevinLudlow.com. Thanks again for tuning in, and we’ll be back with another episode soon.