L. Neil Smith's

Number 1, October 1995

Feeding the Ducks

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         Robert Heinlein said that the smaller any unit of government happens to be, the harder it is to move. It's relatively easy to make enough fuss to alter the course of a federal government, for example, but everybody "knows" you can't fight City Hall and that the most viciously dictatorial level of government is the school board.
         My daughter's home schooled. And generally, I ignore my city government because I have far bigger fish to fry (or I'm taking the coward's way out, you may decide for yourself which). But because I'm willing to bet that one city government across this country is pretty much like another (they should all be given 24 hours to get out of town) and the trends they set have a regrettable tendency to spread upward and outward, I think it's appropriate to discuss them from time to time, so that we'll all have an idea of what we're up against.
         If it were only a matter of good old-fashioned Chicago-style graft, we could probably accept it philosophically. For example, say some city council somewhere passed a law that lawn sprinkling systems (which our hypothetical city government urged us to install because they save water) must now be inspected and a whopping fee collected for this "service". Never mind that the Earth got along perfectly well for the last four and a half billion years without the fee- collecting lawn sprinkling system inspectors who lobbied for this law. What we have here (and as usual, employing government as a truncheon) is sheer, primitive, plug-ugly greed, which I happen to define as an inordinate and potentially violent desire for the unearned.
         But to make things worse, let's say that the same collection of droolers and mouth-breathers, unduly influenced by animal rights fascists, passed a law ordaining that your five year old daughter and mine, upon pain of whatever it is city governments do to you (besides bore you to death between uncontrollable bouts of rolling on the floor laughing until the tears stream from your eyes) will henceforward, and in the face of more than a century of pleasantly civilized tradition, be forbidden to toss bits of stale bread, carefully saved up all week, to the ducks on the lake in City Park of a sunny Sunday afternoon.
         This is the same bunch of frilly-dillies who proclaimed, after an wet early snowstorm recently brought down most of the tree-limbs in northern Colorado, that you can't burn cottonwood (the only decidous tree native to the area and the same species used for matchsticks) in your fireplace because it smews aw icky (or baby-talk to that effect).
         Let's get this straight, once and for all. Let me to be the first in what I hereby declare as a new, post-psychotic era of rationality and enlightenment to state that, despite decades of philosophically and scientifically unsupportable TV propaganda to the contrary, ducks, more or less like all animals, serve only three purposes.
         First, they're for guys and their buddies in silly clothing to trudge out at some ridiculous hour of the morning and stand in freezing water with a bunch of smelly dogs and shoot. Believe me, I'm not knocking it, only describing it. I'm a hunter and shooter myself.
         Second, in combination with other ingredients, they're for cooking, preferably by Chinese people, who in my opinion are the ones (rather than guys with smelly dogs, or their wives) who do it best.
         Third, they're for the innocent and heart-warming delight of little children and their parents who enjoy feeding them in the park.
         Now don't get me wrong, I love animals. I've owned dozens and eat as many as I can every day. But my experience is that those who argue animal rights generally don't believe in human rights, not in any sense intended by the Dead White European Males who founded this civilization. The latter is what that civilization's supposed to be all about. The former is a conceptual disease festering within the shriveled cortices of social and political parasites who, for reasons known best to them, abominate their own species almost as much as they abominate themselves. It's communicated, by such wretched creatures, to a vastly greater number simply too clueless to disbelieve it.
         But since all animals are property, properly claimed or as yet unclaimed, and necessary to the survival, well-being, and amusement of their evolutionary superiors, it follows that animal rights advocates are self-announced enemies of their own kind and should be treated as such. If everybody refrained from selling them food for about six months, some of them would get the point and come around and the rest would starve to death. In either case, the problem would be solved.
         A great deal is made, and always has been, of Republicans versus Democrats or liberals versus conservatives, and some of it may even mean something. But these days, down here at the city level where we all have to live, everywhere you look, it's becoming a matter of the Lace-Panties Killjoy Party (the same pasty-pale troglodytes who also despise automobiles, guns, industry, smoking, and, as I've pointed out elsewhere, everything that's come along during the past 90,000 years as a result of the discovery of fire) versus the rest of us.
         The question is, what are we gonna do about it?
         Whatever we eventually decide, it's vitally important to remember that any government that can forbid your child to feed the ducks -- and make you pay for unwanted and unneeded lawn sprinkling system inspections -- can also murder 81 people in their own church in broad daylight while the whole world watches, and not only get away with it, but blame the surviving victims and put them in jail for 40 years.
         After all, what's to stop them?

L. Neil Smith is the Prometheus Award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures and Pallas. National coordinator of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published writer. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, where (by sheer coincidence) there are mandatory lawn sprinkling system inspections and it's illegal to feed the ducks in City Park.

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