L. Neil Smith's
Number 148, November 19, 2001


Sorry to divert from the recent conversation regarding fossils but I just read your essay in TLE and cannot tell you how much I agree with you supposition that the Government is keeping individuals mudball bound because of a want and desire for power. I have been thinking the same thing now for about two years since I began comparing it with the emmigration to the United States and the newly found New World. The vastness and infinite nature of space allows for the greatest exercise of freedom and liberty.

For about a hundred years the "space" of the United States allowed for the exercise of freedom and liberty, but as people began to encroach on one another and were not able to vote with their feet, freedom and liberty began to wane - and wane they surely have done.

If individuals were allowed to escape to space they would be out of the control of Governments and accountable only to themselves - something that the Government cannot have.

A story I have been writing in my head on long trips - not yet in the placing onto electronic paper - deals with this very idea. That the Government wants to keep people on Earth for the very reason that it can exercise control over them and once individuals are able to escape from Government control it will be very hard to bind them in again.

The story - as it sits now - goes something like this; an entrepreneur who made his money in the garbage business sells his holdings in the United States after NASA refuses to sell him launchpad time to start shooting hazardous and nuclear waste into the sun. He finds that Russia is ameniable to providing a launch platform and selling him the necessary rockets to perform that service. Soon the business expands into a transport business to the Moon Colony that the Government set up but cannot supply. Soon the entreprenuer wishes to try mining and setting up his own colony on Mars or one of the larger asteriods. The fledgling United Space Defence Force and the Earth bound Governments protest this and work towards trying to confiscate his business from him before he is able to manage to bring individuals into Space and beyond the control of their respective Governments. The story will grow from there.

Indidivuals must reach for the stars before the Government denies us the ability to do that and forever seals our fate with the growth of space borne defence like the anti-missile shield.

Live Free or Die,

Keith Shugarts [shugartk@yahoo.com]

[see also Keith's article in this issue - ed.]

Jim Davidson writes:

However, the USA and related governments have failed to persuade me that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 11 September attacks.

The Taliban has said they will extradite ObL if shown evidence for doing so. Like you and I, they're still waiting.

Curiously, baraakada translates as "a wooden house." (From Abdirahman A. Hashi's Essential Somali English Dictionary, First Edition 1998). These terms do relate, if one considers that the nomadic Somali people might find a wooden house to be glorious, and when one contemplates the presence of wood-built mosques in the region.

Interesting story in Ideas on Liberty (formerly The Freeman. Back issues, etc at http://www.fee.org/freeman/freeman.html. Unfortunately, this story is not online.) entitled The Non-Existent Frontier Bank Robbery. Basically, the whole Hollywood idea of the bank robber didn't happen until after the government regulated how banks could operate.

I would not be surprised if the "enduring freedom" war on terrorism were to bring about concentration camps for Middle Eastern followers of Islam,

Me neither. You want to establish a betting pool to pick the day when the first prisoner enters? Or is that date already in the past, given the unindicted prisoners currently being held?

with the usual distribution of these victims among those willing to submit meekly and those willing to take aggressive action at the second deviation below and above the mean, with the average person just angry and sad and perhaps a bit scared.

The "Good Germans", I guess.

The mention of the "halal" aspects of meat preparation as compared to Jewish "kosher" preparation is highly suggestive.

Can I ask a question? My sister-in-law says that she eats kosher when she can't eat halal and otherwise doesn't worry about it. So is this a Coke vs. Pepsi difference, when you come right down to it?

on business enterprises and individuals, preliminary to the aforementioned death camps.

Internment camps. We won't *mean* for them to die.

at considerable expense. Clearly, given the absence of a translator for Mohamud while he was in custody, the Ferals have no supply of Arabic or Somali language speakers.

The Pentagon has some. A good friend's brother is in the army, and he speaks fluent Arabic so he can work "with the ragheads" as he puts it.

Either way, what possible justification do a free people have for imposing licenses on private enterprise?

The theory is that partially free markets are unstable, so we have to make them less free. Somehow, the regulators don't consider that their prior meddling might be at fault.

In particular, why does the State of Washington have any interest in who is running grocery stores and halal meat markets in Seattle?

Because we all "know" that slaughterhouses are horrible places where workers are abused and meat is tainted. Didn't you read your Upton Sinclair (never mind that he made it all up). So all meat sellers -- indeed, all food sellers -- must be regulated. Never mind the fact that "halal" meat must be treated in a certain manner at all times otherwise it's not halal.

You can put forth an argument that the word "halal" is kind-of like "kosher", and that "halal" meat should be treated according to the strictures and scriptures. But that's why every system of law is going to have its trademarks.

Hey, now that's a good question: Is there provision in the xeerai to protect the names of goods and services? The problem of identifying things for sale doesn't go away simply because you revere the Prophet, and Islamic civilization has had markets since about ten seconds after Islam was founded.

Russ Nelson [sig@russnelson.com]

Dear Neil,

Vic Koman also pointed out that we aren't likely to get into space from this country if we obey the laws that otherwise prevent us from engaging in trade and otherwise minding our own business. In fact, his hero in _Kings of the High Frontier_ makes a number of trips to Kismayo in Somalia before launching a space station from there.

(I happen to know the people who own the land on the equator in Somalia if anyone wants to short circuit the arduous path to space.)

World War Two was a fight over which form of state socialism would triumph. The Moon race was a fight over which form of state socialism would plant a flag on the Moon first. In both cases, the fact that "our side" won does nothing to forward our individual liberty.

Two people are inarguably stronger than one. One man with a gun is able to hold two people at bay, or kill both of them in a few seconds time. Which point tends to emphasize your ideas about keeping and bearing arms.

Is intelligence additive? Probably not. But, cooperation tends to be both economically and biologically useful.

In any event, individuals are smart enough to know that until flight crews, cabin crews, and passengers are free to carry arms, flying is a dangerous way to travel. So, air travel is down by more than 25% from six months ago.

As you may know, I've always wanted to go dancing on the Moon. I wouldn't mind seeing Saturn's rings, or, to further quote Diana Gallagher, hear Jupiter sing.

But, the fact of the matter is that the socialists and their security apparatus stand in the way. Either we have to be smart enough to get around them, or we have to kill them, or both.

I'm not sanguine about the survival of "this country." As I've written in your e-zine recently, I think the USA died a long time ago. So, I'm not particularly upset by Jason Sorens's idea of splitting off one or more states into a new country. I have also found a large number of people with strong interests in creating new countries in various parts of the world.

Most of all, I think there is a good reason to suspect that without the wealth needed to get into space, even if we are willing to break the laws, we won't get it done in our life time. Your life time or mine.

Which is why I spend quite a bit of my time working on ventures like Gold Barter Holdings.


Jim Davidson [jdavidson@cbjd.net]

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