[Get Opera!]

L. Neil Smith's
Number 168, April 8, 2002
Round Two

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from Debra Ricketts

Letter from Scott Stephens

Letter from Mimbreqo Chiricahua

Letter from Frank Cimrhanzel

Letter from Angel Shamaya

Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from David Maraj

Letter fromCitizens Of America

Regarding David Maraj's letter on Quebec's "colored margarine" law, I have to sadly inform him that Canada is only following the US's lead.

From 1886 - 1943, colored margarine was banned or severely restricted in many of the US states as well. By 1902, "...32 states and 80% of the U.S. population lived under margarine color bans. While the Supreme Court upheld such bans, it did strike down forced coloration (pink) which had begun in an effort to get around the ban on yellow coloring. During this period coloring in the home began, with purveyors providing capsules of food coloring to be kneaded into the margarine. This practice continued through World War II."

All of this was, of course, in response to lobbying by (guessed it yet?) the US dairy industry.


Debra Ricketts [dricketts@subdimension.com]

William Westmiller wrote:

"There is only one characteristic that is unique to human beings and distinguishes them from every other living thing. That is the capacity to reason."

This boils down to "you don't have rights unless you are aware and can communicate them", "you don't have rights because you cannot enforce them" close behind. An object lesson of selfish behavior and deceiving excuses with moral ignorance. A lesson to teach society how to energetically, catastrophically fail.

Computers can 'reason', they are not persons. They do not have a will. Animals have wills and motives for life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness such as reproduction and building happy homes. Animals want to be held in loving esteem (and dominate, be the best!), and will even suffer to maintain a consistent identity (unlike humans such as Bill Clinton and Al Gore that glory in lies, I find dogs more honorable and honestly consistent). Animals are not independent of their environment. Animals are integral with the biosphere, as 'particles' are a kind of 'wave' that encompass all space and time, as in QED theory. Animals are a vehicle to persist and propagate DNA, in Earth's dynamic biosphere, which is made of particles. This is profoundly significant (probably only to those on my wavelength, unfortunately)!

And life is more than the strong, clever predator overpowering, entrapping and devouring weak prey. Life is being aware of your identity. Intelligent life is just and engineers a win-win situation - not running a jungle, a deceptive, predatory, heads-I-win tails-you- lose rat race.

Perhaps this is a meaning of the "Eden" account of creation, which isn't exclusive to Christianity. The tree of knowledge is moral knowledge - that of justice and equity. We are blameless until we realize our independent identity, our shame, over our primal drives that overpower our weak will to consistently adhere to our ideals. Then we lie with excuses to ourselves and others, till its unconscious habit. Intelligent life must engineer symbiotic societies, relationships that honor rights, even of the weak and ignorant, rather than predator-prey relationships that dominate and degrade with force and deception. Actions teach behavior and motives, excuses teach deception.

Loving others as self - treating other as you would be, because you are intelligent enough to understand you are no greater than they, and they are equals to you. Humility that you didn't choose to be superior to any other creature but for an accident of fate, or maybe some unknown reason. So you will be as merciful to those you can devour as you would have mercy from those with power over you, avoiding unnecessary evil. This is justice - attributing equal rights/identity to others.

If you would not be aborted, don't advocate aborting others. If you would be aborted, I'm sure you can find some happy, morally ignorant and viscous creature end our mutual moral misery by devouring you. But what you advocate for others, I don't think you will have for yourself!

"All rights are individual rights because every person is an individual. There are no such thing as "group rights" or "state rights" that conflict with individual rights. Nor is there any such thing as "fetal rights" that conflict with any real person's rights."

How can you say that? Rights define boundaries and dynamics of interpersonal and group relationships! You cannot separate the individual from the culture at large, no more than you can describe our physical universe as collections of particles, discounting the wave nature. This is the problem with the non-initiation of force libertarian definitions. Like asking how many corners does a circle have, the answer is 'mu' - the premise is wrong. I aspire to do unto other as I would have done unto me, but in the context of space, time, circumstance and society, to produce the best all-round outcome. Mostly unconsciously as my environment kicks and chews my ass into a minimum-pain state, and my mind figures out what the hell is happening, the life process resulting in civilization thanks to literacy.

We participate in life tomorrow, by writing what we learn today, as our cells give our consciousness tomorrows, though most have died & been replaced within seven years or so, our memory and identity transcend brief, simple cell lives. Even without literacy, our lives, the intentions, motives and strength that mold them, for good and ill, are self consistent entangling threads of influence whose outcome we are ignorant (some of us hopeful!) of. Or perhaps Hawking is right and the universe is a complex-time object without beginning or end, causality, the arrow of time - is an illusion of our awareness. But who really knows?

"Rights do not conflict."

But they do! The law of the jungle says might makes right. Civilization and religion is about loving your neighbor for mutual benefit, and deferring gratification, and manifesting a social, honorable, wise identity. Now these ways and means are certainly in conflict, and conflict is a dynamic force balance process driving identity evolution, predation and symbiosis defining boundaries. Deception is force in 'intelligent' information processing systems (minds) affected by perception, beliefs and presumption. Information affects quantum systems. Prophecy can self-fulfill!"

You don't want them to conflict, you want them to be consistent. And they are consistent - like the chaotic interface of oil and water! We are in a most deliberately confusing dogfight! And it not enough to be deceived by our competitors, we have to habitually deceive ourselves to, its reinforced by relief from shame and pleasure of ignorantly dominating and exploitation of the weak and stupid, the different and vulnerable. And the separate wills which are defined by forces between differences of other wills, Escher-like voids, which would cause a counterproductive influence, perhaps even collapse (therefore by definition be unknowable!) while remaining independent even if known, who can say, other than 'we war against spirit, not flesh'?

"Even if we were to grant -- beyond all reason -- the right of a fetus to life, we could not deny or infringe the self-evident right of a woman to her own life and complete control over her own body."

A fetus is not a cancer or pimple, to be hacked off for selfish gain. Again I invoke the just moral metric of asking the reader to consider if they were that fetus, under what circumstance would you forgive your mother for aborting you? You can hardly comprehend losing life you've lived, but try to imagine under what circumstance would, you as a child, forgive your mother for turning you over to a highly trained, highly paid, and highly esteemed doctor to be hacked apart with sharp knives and sucked up into a vacuum cleaner? (sorry for the extremism, I couldn't resist 8^)

If my mother was going to die from complications, if she was pursued by predators I would understand. If she would resent me, hate me, ruining both our lives, yea, I would rather be aborted for both our sakes. If I knew I would be hideously deformed, I would rather be aborted. Especially if I realized I was hated because of a rape, and would in turn amplify and reflect misery back into society.

But I must say some religious traditions hold (see Sermon On Mount, et.) that there is value even for suffering a miserable life, because somebody has to. Not merely for the sake of misery, but because nature creates randomly, so like Edison failing thousands of times, all the failure was the price to pay for success. It is man's misery (and glory!) to pay this price, what more can we do for God? Forgive or have mercy on a fool, yet not a predator!

But popular Christian teaching is God made a perfect world with a perfect plan (even a personal perfect plan for you, which you screwed up though!), and if we weren't such fools we would have perfect bliss. Sounds like the clergy want us to feel guilty so we wont scream too loud when they screw us. I don't buy it. But who am I to say?

Now what about the fools that are irresponsible and want multiple abortions because they won't practice birth control? What about those (as in China) that want a male and abort females? What about farming body parts? Its not murder 1, but its not a misdemeanor if only due to social implications, the cheapening of life. You cheapen that fetus' life, you cheapen my life.

Now if you cheapen my life, when the social security pyramid scam crashes and the worthless paper money can't buy enough cosmetics for the ruling elite, they will encourage me to choose euthanasia in my old age. I suppose I should sit passively by while predators sharpen knives and drool in anticipation of devouring my ass! Perhaps I'm paranoid, but it is not my unique observation that our culture is rotting, not from design but by neglect, the morally weak taking the path of least resistance, which inevitably leads to a great deal of hurt.

"My preference is that every human child be wanted, nurtured, loved and cherished."

I would prefer to be in a perfect world too. I think my God wants me to work to make it perfect (provided predators don't presume my goodwill to subvert my efforts to their evil predatory ends!). Others say God blames them for making it imperfect, and they learn to blame, degrade and condemn others. Atheist liberals tell others nothing matters while degrading and devouring others as if they are most important predators in the jungle.

If only aliens would pity Mother Earth and fly over and abort all the evil, murdering selfish snobs out of the earths atmosphere into space! Who said there's a right to dependently breath the Earth's air? Or Jesus would return to judge certain 'Christian' hypocrites with the same measure they judge by, and mete unto them with the measure they mete out! Excuses abound with desire, whatever the ideology!

Scott Stephens [scottxs@attbi.com]

I have no idea what the "correct" libertarian position on abortion should be. Nor do I care any longer. Fools like Mr. Antle have finally convinced me that libertarians are better used as entertainment than a serious philosophical force for the future of humanity. They are certainly not serious advocates of freedom.

Rights emanate from the fact of sapience. It does not matter if the sapient in question is a human being, an uplifted chimpanzee, or an arachnoid female from the planet Bz*?bplyx. If it can demonstrate sapience, it has rights. Otherwise it is property. Humans are a neotonous species and a human fetus does not pass the sapience test. That means it has no rights. At best, a fetus -- even right after partuition -- has the cognitive power of a dog or a cat. Maybe, if we stretch the evidence far enough, some abilities are equivalent to those of a monkey.

The so-called pro-life position is no more than a variation of the notion known as "animal rights." It is no more morally persuasive than the argument that, "a man is a boy is a dog is rat." Pro-lifers (pro- birthers is more accurate) just add "is a fetus" to the end of an already asinine sophmorism.

Mimbreqo Chiricahua [ce7723ut@yahoo.com]

In a recent political debate with a "liberal" friend of mine, I found the answer to the great abortion debate. I was shocked to find the answer in a 200 plus year old document. The Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The debates of when is "life", "life" and when does a person have "rights" has been staring all of us in the face for so long we appear now to be blind to it. It does not say all men are BORN equal, it says CREATED equal. Creation and birth are two separated events. Upon a persons creation, we may not deprive them of their life. I understand that, in some rare cases, the creation of a life may pose a threat, biologically, to the mother or that certain gene defects or diseases like German measles, may cause the life to become non viable, in which abortion is necessary. These cases are few and far between, where as todays wholesale slaughter of unborn children in todays world is not.

I did not invent the document, but like the non aggression principle, it is one that I must follow as a Libertarian.

Frank Cimrhanzel [cimrhanzel@yahoo.com]

Bennett's Proper Attire

In TLE #167, Gentleman L. Neil Smith, with whom I agree 97.63% of the time -- give or take 2% -- explained William Bennett's history and leanings as follows:

"Bennett fathered the Clinton-Dole semiautomatic weapons ban and most of the recent Republican aversion to self-defense. ... applauded the FBI at Ruby Ridge and Waco...putting together an organization for the specific purpose of stifling dissent on the part of anyone who thinks -- and, more importantly, says or writes -- that this War on Everything of his and Bush's isn't the greatest thing since omelettes made from broken eggs."

Mr. Smith then went on to discuss various possibilities for the appropriate attire for such a miscreant, but he left the most obvious one up to the reader -- and in case someone else fails to send this statement into TLE for publication, please allow me:

Anyone wielding the weight of government power in America to precipitate such social evils into our society would look best when dressed in nothing more than one sturdy piece of ROPE.

As a necktie, Bill.

Angel Shamaya [Director@KeepAndBearArms.com]

Dear Editor,

The propertarian perspective on the abortion issue is very simple. For some time, now, I've had a notion that if more people would embrace this view it would rapidly lead to a set of technological fixes to the abortion controversy.

People are people, no matter how small. There is no objective basis for me to say, "He's a person, whereas this one is not." All the things you can cite for a person, such as personality, irritability, response to environment, can be established for a fetus or embryo. It is foolish, dehumanizing, and a bad precedent to ordain that something besides the presence of living genetically human tissue constitutes a person. Concentration camps are the end result of that line of "reasoning."

Trespass, on the other hand, is a clear violation of private property. A propertarian has to be concerned with defense of property, because property is the same thing as life and liberty.

A woman is the first owner of her womb. If someone or something is trespassing there, it is her freedom to evict that trespasser at her option that is at stake. Even an invited guest can be asked to leave by a property owner; refusal to leave becomes trespass. In defense of private property, up to and including deadly force may be justified. Otherwise, rapists thrive and victims suffer. There is no objective basis for differentiating between an unwanted penis in a woman's womb and any other mass of unwanted human tissue in there. Each woman is absolutely free to put anything in her body she wants, including poison, and to remove anything from her body she doesn't want. Period.

The technological fixes involve: alternatives to the resolution of trespass which don't require justifiable homicide. Killing a trespasser is a possible solution. So is making the trespasser leave, with only the threat of force. So, if the objective of the woman is an empty womb, that could be satisfied with:

  • (a) a transplantation technology to remove an embryo or fetus from an unwilling host mother, implanting it in a willing host; or

  • (b) an artificial womb technology eliminating the need for a willing host mother; or both.

If one insists that the embryo or fetus is a separate entity, and not the private property of the mother, then the interests of this entity deserve some consideration. Let those who seek to limit the amount of abortion activity pay for the transplant, artificial womb, care, and upbringing of these unwanted children. The availability of an alternative to killing the embryo or fetus should bring some relief to mothers who are doubtful about their willingness to either bear to term or have an abortion.

As an aside, the limited availability of willing host mothers could be resolved with the use of male hosts. I would be pleased to see many of these male enthusiasts of the anti-abortion position take up the task of carrying a baby to term.

So long as the pro-choice crowd insists that it can tell whether or not a mass of genetically human tissue is a person, and so long as the anti-abortion crowd insists that mothers should have no choice but be slaves to the fetal tissue in their wombs, there will be no useful resolution to this issue. Making abortion illegal cannot make it go away, it can only make it more harmful to those involved.

Just as it is wrong to discriminate against a child because of her age, size, or knowledge, it is wrong to discriminate against a fetus or embryo on the same basis. If we are to be expected to respect the life and property of the fetus, we owe the same respect to the mother.

And, until there are motivated people free to develop new technologies to solve age-old problems like abortion, these problems won't go away. The only beneficiaries of such perversity are the politicians who thrive on the persistence of problems, and the bureau-rats who get paid for not solving them.


Jim Davidson [jim@goldbarter.com]

Dear Mr. Taylor

Dennis Hazen, a 57-year-old construction worker from High Prairie, Alberta, Canada, has been charged with buying four walleye illegaly from an undercover conservation officer. As a result, he has been fined $3,000.

Mr. Hazen--who is awaiting trial--stated flatly that he was a victim of entrapment, because the undercover agent approached him with the fish, and proceeded to plead with him to purchase then for $20.

An irate Hazen has told the Canadian press that he would rather go to jail than pay the fine.

The object of his anger is Operation Pisces, a two-year sting operation by the Alberta Resources Development Department.

If any of you out there are ever in High Prairie, Alberta, remember to be aware of the dreaded fish police.

David Maraj [cougar@echo-on.net]
Ontario, Canada

Alberta hunter hooked in pawnshop sting
Charlie Gillis
National Post
March 30/02, p. A7

A must-read article by the current president of Citizens Of America:

Terrorism Against Gun Owners,
Civil Disobedience, and Killing

by Brian Puckett

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans -- perhaps millions -- faced with ongoing state-sponsored terrorism against gun ownership, believe that they will never regain the free exercise of their right to own, carry, and use firearms unless many leading anti-gun politicians and activists are killed. In human terms, this is perfectly understandable. In fact it is absolutely logical."

Read the full article:

Citizens Of America [newsletter@citizensofamerica.org]

The State vs. The People, by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman

Is America becoming a police state? Friends of liberty need to know.

Some say the U.S. is already a police state. Others watch the news for signs that their country is about to cross an indefinable line. Since September 11, 2001, the question has become more urgent. When do roving wiretaps, random checkpoints, mysterious "detentions," and military tribunals cross over from being emergency measures to being the tools of a government permanently and irrevocably out of control?

The State vs. the People examines these crucial issues. But first, it answers this fundamental question: "What is a police state?"

Order from JPFO NOW!

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