L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 153, December 24, 2001
G*D HELP US, EVERY ONE!
What is the difference between Jane Fonda and John Walker Lindh?
John Walker probably believed in what he was fighting for, for whatever misguided reasons he had. A spoiled rich kid, probably. But he seems to have found some sort of spiritual basis in what the Taliban were preaching.
I've never figured out exactly what Jane Fonda believes in other than the promotion of Jane Fonda. And she was directly responsible for several deaths of POW's during the Vietnam War. And, as best I can gather, she is unrepentant for her actions.
What is the difference?
John Walker Lindh will probably be tried and executed for treason. The press and mindless public continues to fawn on Fonda.
I prefer Lindh to Fonda.
Barbara Cunningham CharlesB@mail.tca.net
And that's absolutely unacceptable! Think of all of the people suffering and dying needlessly! We need to get rid of the FDA, the DEA and the Controlled Substances Act. We've already got Underwriters Laboratories and Consumer Reports. If any other entity needs to exist to monitor drugs, I'm sure the free market would produce one.
Susan W. Wells Swftl@aol.com
[re: What Should Happen To American Taliban Fighter John Walker Lindh?:]
Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
Indeed, I do exceedingly fear and quake for my country!
Jim Healy firstname.lastname@example.org
I was amused at L. Neil Smith's rankling at being called a pacifist in his article, "Gentlemen, Start Your Halbards!". I consider myself a pacifist, until I am attacked. In my opinion, from reading all of the classics that LNS mentions in his various articles, a good libertarian would make the ultimate pacifist until provoked. I also think that no logical disconnect exists between respecting the rights of others to peacefully follow their own paths and enjoy their own liberties (e.g. the "libertarian" manifesto) and pacifism. This often causes conflict with the people whose only support of human rights and the Bill of Rights relates to the RKBA. Many of the proponents of the RKBA seem to totally support all the incursions into the affairs of others by the feral government. Thus, as a "pacifist" who opposed the involvement in Viet Nam on ethical and as it turns out libertarian grounds, I often receive the short shrift. I don't know all of L. Neil's positions but it seems to me from what I have read of his non-fiction, that while somewhat respecting the rights of others, he does so with some degree of disdain ... but, as Dennis Miller says, I could be wrong.
Joseph Crowe email@example.com
I read your letter to TLE#152 with much interest. You might imagine this has been discussed before, with (as you point out) many different answers suggested.
Prof. David D. Freidman was involved in a long discussion in talk.politics.libertarian on the matter, and the final limit of restitution that no one could come to a reasonable consensus on was murder. I believe he has a paper on the subject available on his web page http://www.daviddfriedman.com/.
I would sugest that, like the anglo-saxon traditions that became "common law", people would establish, through the jury system, some standard when faced with that reality. What, for instance, to do with Charles Manson? I don't know, but I would gladly contribute to the "Keep the psychopath in prison for ever!" fund.
There is also the old American attitude, not seen in a long time in popular culture due to the destruction of the rights of the jury, of "No jury on earth would convict me" if I happened to choose to kill the lunatic myself.
Real ostrasism would require absolute identification, how does that square with the freedom to be annonymous? Another good question, probed to some extent in a Twilight Zone episode.
The idea of community answers to criminals is as old as recorded history. I think we'd find a way, again, if the restrictions that the state monopoly on force has imposed were again loosened. I believe the greatest danger is the continued reliance on "government" for "criminal" prosecution, and the artificial distinction drawn between "civil" and "criminal" law. It is another example of "divide and conquer."
Curt Howland Howland@Priss.com
Declan McCullagh over at Wired runs a nice politech mailing
list. Lately, he's sent a couple of pretty interesting URLs:
This first URL reports that the anthrax arriving at Capitol Hill (e.g., the Daschle anthrax letter) comes from the US Army's supplies at Ft. Detrick in Maryland. Detailed genetic analysis reveals this source.
Then: http://www.dailyrotten.com/articles/archive/189387.html indicates that perhaps my idea that BadTrans.B = Magic Lantern was incorrect. Nevertheless, the FBI has asked for a copy of all the data intercepted by that worm, not bothering to get so much as a warrant for the keystroke logs of 2 million Americans.
Given these two events, I am scarcely able to contain my skepticism toward anything released by USA feral gummint sources. It's been several months since 11 September, and the recently released video allegedly showing Osama bin Laden gloating about the attacks on the World Trade Center could be what the USA gummint alleges it to be, or it could be carefully produced propaganda. I take both possibilities seriously.
Are there "bad guys" who want to destroy the USA feral gummint? Sure! You betcha. I've even met one or two of these characters. Are some of these characters so unrestrained as to send anthrax to Capitol Hill or fly airplanes full of civilians into New York Port Authority buildings? I can conceive of such people existing, yes, and am willing to suppose that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda represent such people. I don't find what passes for standards of proof among the mainstream media to be very convincing, though.
The business with the Capitol Hill anthrax coming from a US Army depot is suggestive of two ideas. One is that the anthrax was sent by sources within the USA feral gummint to encourage quick action by Congress on various recent unconstitutional laws proposed for "Homeland Security" a.k.a. Heimatlandsicherheitsdienst (sieg heil!). The other is the possibility that security around US Army biological weapons depots is about as lax as it was back when the Army was sending smallpox blankets to every native American Indian reservation on the continent.
Neither of these ideas is very reassuring. When I think of the costs of the USA feral gummint to the average individual, I am very glad we aren't getting as much government as we seem to be paying for. When I think of the results, I'm rather appalled at the "bang" for our buck. Or, more simply, if the goofballs in charge of security at Logan Airport in Boston and Ft. Detrick in Maryland are the best the USA has for defense against terrorism, the American people have not yet begun to suffer.
Jim Davidson firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people object to the assembly line searches that exist at some courthouse entrances. Are prospective jurors objecting because they beleive that there is no probable cause for the searches, or are they just trying to avoid jury duty? I am a Libertarian attorney doing research on the following topic and would appreciate it if you could publish this request for information in your letters to the Editor or other opinion page and otherwise publicize this where it would gain the most response. I am interested in details about any instances where individuals have refused to be searched at the entrance to any courthouses. Many courthouses have search procedures that include metal detectors and baggage x-rays. I am interested in researching whether courthouse searches are treated as consensual encounters and how courthouses have dealt with refusals. I am particularly interested in refusals by seated jurors, prospective jurors, subpoenaed witnesses, defendants, lawyers and anyone whose attendance is compelled.
I am researching whether there have been any of the following: If jurors, prospective jurors, subpoenaed witnesses, defendants and lawyers have arrived at courthouses at their appointed times and announced that they would not submit to courthouse searches? If they telephoned (or wrote letters) ahead of time and announced that they would arrive on schedule but not submit to the courthouse searches? If any had lawyers file motions ahead of each scheduled appearance to object to the prospective searches and to announce that they would arrive on schedule but not submit? If any "Fully Informed Jury" groups have pamphleted courthouses with information about refusing to submit to courthouse searches? And when prospective jurors object to searches, is it because they philosophically oppose the searches on the grounds of a lack of probable cause, or is it merely used as a way to avoid jury duty? Anyone who knows of any such incidents please send details to email@example.com or to the location below.
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