THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 559, February 28, 2010
"I have sworn upon the altar of god,
eternal hostility against every form
of tyranny over the mind of man."
Send Letters to email@example.com
Another Letter from A.X. Perez, with reply from Pat Taylor
Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez
Letter from Steven Lynes Sr. with reply from L. Neil Smith
Letter from Tatiana Covington with replies from L. Neil Smith, Jim Davidson
Another Letter from Steven Lynes Sr.
Again a Letter from A.X. Perez
Letter from Ann Morgan with reply from Jim Davidson
Another Letter from Ann Morgan, with reply from Tatiana Covington, A.X. Perez, Jim Davidson, and Ann Morgan
Another Letter from Jim Davidson
Yet Another Letter from Jim Davidson
Another Letter from E.J. Totty
Letter from Donald Meinshausen
Another Letter from Dave Earnest
Of late there has been a movement to promote the idea that America is a "Christian Nation" based on Christian values. To the extent that Christianity was the prevalent religion in the US at the time of its formation and shaped the culture's values this is a valid point. However, too many currently say this to try to make conforming to a religious test a requirement for holding office and try to include this in how history will be taught. I commend to these the following thoughts of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence:
Allow me to add my two cents and state that I believe many if not all of the political and soi disant religious leaders who have misused the Christian Nation philosophy to gain power have in a figurative sense knelt before Satan and worshiped him in exchange for dominion over the Earth.
Please note that I am a Christian, I am unashamed to profess Jesus is my most beloved Savior, and if you catch me in one of my many and extremely sinful moments, well, I guess I need a lot of saving.
Ms. Taylor you are absolutely right. Men need to accept and carry out more responsibility in reproductive matters.
In my defense the topic was a woman's right to control her body versus whether or not an embryo is a person with rights. If you want to discuss male responsibilities and rights I think we agree on more points than not. Until a particular man accepts his responsibilities he is not really entitled to a vote, at most he is allowed to politely give whatever advice the woman asks him for and humbly accede to her opinion.
To which Pat Taylor replied:
Mr. Perez, I agree absolutely with your letter of Feb 21and in particular, "Several times L. Neil Smith has stated the caution that liberty loving people must not let them be conned into quarreling among themselves over abortion. There are a variety of reasons why he is right. If we agree to disagree on this issue and move on to creating a freer society we will have fewer abortions."
We've spent far too much time on abortion, and not enough time on freedom.
Usually I don't let myself get embroiled in the abortion controversy, and for that I apologize. But I seriously question why many libertarian men are so adamant about something over which they have no right to control (another person's body). It occurs to me that perhaps they feel helpless in the face of the woman's choice, they feel they will be left out of the equation. Certainly many women do talk and write as if the man has no choice and won't be consulted. And in many cases he is NOT consulted. This I believe is wrong, if there is any relationship at all between the man and the woman. She may have the final choice, but he should not be ignored.
But, you say in your letter, "In my defense the topic was a woman's right to control her body versus whether or not an embryo is a person with rights." I believe the two issues are so far afield that they shouldn't be one-vs-the other. In fact, oftentoo many timesI suspect the issue of embryo being a person is a red herring in the abortion argument, when the real issue in the man's mind is "allowing" the woman to make the choice (for reason stated in the paragraph above).
I don't know that this is true; I cannot get into a man's head. But I think libertarians (of both sexes) should seriously study their argumentsand their motivationwhen one issue is unrelated, or only peripherally related, to another. When abortion is discussed, it should not be broached as choice vs life, but as choice vs non-choiceand that is the only way libertarians should view a woman's choice.
Whether an embryo is a person is another argument entirely. But murder is tried in court, not in a woman's bodyand only after the murder occurs. Let's keep it that way.
Re: "Letter from Renata Russell with remarks by A.X. Perez and Crazy Al"
Someone needs to tell Geret Wilders that satellite dishes are pointed south to where the friggin' satellites are orbiting the Earth not at local (or distant) stations. The Moslem nations are south of Holland. Doi!!
I thought I should mention my book is now available for sale on Amazon.
Possibly two or three of your readers would want to buy it, and that would provide a commission for TLE.
Wow, talk about kicking the proverbial hornets nest! I never imagined when I sent my hastily written e-mail to L. Neil a few weeks ago that it would create such a firestorm and sow this much dissention among the ranks. I normally focus all of my passion and efforts on my true love which is the right to keep and bear arms, so this was definitely quite an interesting experience for me to see my name plastered all over TLE for a subject which I have very strong feelings on, yet which I rarely discuss with others. I can see why so many shy away from the subject now.
On a positive note I will say that all of the myriad responses received reiterates for me one of the many reasons why I am a Libertarian, the willingness of most who ascribe to this point of view to logically discuss and debate the issues without shutting out or acknowledging the opposing views and ideas of others. Many of you have provided great insight for me on the subject and I sincerely appreciate it but most especially those of you who did so without attempting to destroy my character in the process. I will have to take everything in and let it marinate for awhile.
To my detractors I will say that I firmly believe in the "Golden Rule" and the ZAP and I do my absolute best to live by it on a daily basis. Being only human I am not always successful. To any of you I angered with my earlier letter which was written in haste and with much emotion I apologize but I do not apologize for my stand for the unborn. I do not harbor any "bitter sexual resentment-and envy-toward others" or any other forms of envy for that matter as was claimed in previous letters (unless of course you happen to own a fully functional MP-40 from WWII which I highly covet). I actually have a great and very satisfying relationship with a wonderful and loving wife and I have four great children. I just happen to believe that a baby, whether inside or outside the mother's womb is a human being, regardless of its ability to reason and think on some higher level and as such has the right to be born and to live. With some of you on this point we will have to agree to disagree but we can still be united on many other important issues like the protection and expansion of our gun rights and other individual freedoms.
I must confess that I am not completely free of bias on the issue of abortion. My father was an intern back in 1968 and had plans on becoming a cardiologist. Unfortunately for him I happened to come into the picture. He wanted my mother who was a nurse at the same hospital to abort me. Being the gentle and loving man that he was, he offered to do it himself. He even graciously offered to marry my mother (sarcasm off now) but he couldn't allow anything to distract from his life's goal, not even a son supposedly conceived in love. Fortunately for me my mother was made of stronger stuff and chose to have me despite his myriad exhortations not to, and in spite of the stigma she was forced to live with in those days of being an unwed mother. While I haven't cured cancer, I have had a pretty wonderful and productive life and I still have much more to achieve with it yet (like the repeal of ALL gun laws). I have even had my own personal dealings with the difficult subject of abortion as an adult. My first wife wanted to abort our first child which fortunately, I was able to prevent. After reading all of the recent letters on the subject I know that some of you may find my actions in this matter distasteful or that I unduly influenced her to keep the baby, but regardless of how some of you may feel about my actions in this instance, every time I see my lovely 20 year old daughter I am thankful I was able to do so and I will never regret my actions. I have other similar stories but I will not bore you with them. Needless to say the issue of abortion has touched my life far too many times and I would not wish the experience from either perspective of the man or the woman on anyone. The wonder and beauty of a human life and the potential contained therein is far too precious in my eyes to destroy it on a sterile operating table via dilation and curettage.
L. Neil said the following to me in a recent e-mail "...if a fetus were... in the uterus of a woman who didn't want it there, we'd be talking about one person living at the involuntary expense of another. Nobody has a right to do that. The woman has a clear-cut right to evict her unwanted tenant." which I found to be a very interesting point that I hadn't really considered before and have yet to fully digest. While I find the notion of living at the involuntary expense of another person to be abhorrent, when the destruction of a human life is the alternative there isn't really a good answer. One of the many positive aspects of the wonderful act of sex is to create life. With so many forms of birth control available today, why anyone would want to use abortion as a method of birth control when it physically destroys a life is beyond my comprehension. To me abortion is the antithesis of sex and it turns this wonderful, sanctified, and positive act into something ugly, vulgar, and negative.
Rightly or wrongly, in my own personal interpretation of Libertarianism, nothing could be more Libertarian than defending the innocent and defenseless from the aggressions of others? Yes, I admit that this is a most difficult subject to discuss and many of you have made some wonderfully insightful observations for which I thank you. More honest and healthy debate is definitely needed here but far too many shrink from it. As many have said or alluded to in their letters, I also believe that what is required is a fundamental shift in societies views towards sex, birth control, freedom, individual responsibility, control, and the value for human life. Let's all work towards a solution and hope for it to happen sooner rather than later so we can all get back to fighting for our beloved guns again!
Steven Lynes Sr.
To which L. Neil Smith replied:
I have enjoyed my correspondence with Steve very much. Proof that those who disagree on details can still get along on the basis of fundamentals. That's the very promise of libertarianism (and liberalism, as we once knew it).
L. Neil Smith
The brutal biological fact is that we are mammals. Therefore, we have no alternatives. Either pregnancy occurs and goes to term, or there is nothing.
Further, the fetus does not 'compel' the woman to do anything. At that stage, those are all only molecular mechanisms automatically deploying.
To which L. Neil Smith replied:
You've never been married to a pregnant woman subject to bizarre cavings at off hours of the night. The fetus compels, believe me.
L. Neil Smith
And Jim Davidson replied:
Tatiana Covington wrote:
Actions have consequences. The actions of the embryo and of the fetus are molecular and chemical and enzymatic. Yet, if we are to believe that this mass of cells is a human being, then we must assign responsibility for these actions to the embryo or fetus.
It does no good to say that these are "only molecular mechanisms automatically deploying." If you fart, it is a biological mechanism. So is a sneeze. So is a yawn. These continue to be your actions, and your responsibility.
If you deploy a pheromone perfume or any other biological weapon, it doesn't matter that these are molecular mechanisms, it matters that you deployed them. You may not wish to take the fetus seriously and assign responsibility for its actions to it, but if you don't, then who should be responsible for its actions?
The fetus is a human being, it is acting when it is in the womb, and its actions have consequences. If the woman who owns that womb says that the actions are trespass and the results of the fetus's molecular mechanisms are undesirable, I say it is her choice whether to continue being pregnant or not. And since it is her choice, she has to determine whether to use up to deadly force to end the trespass.
I don't especially like this point of view. Because I don't like this situation, I want technology to change it so that it becomes an obsolete problem.
But until the problem is made obsolete, women are going to continue to get pregnant, want to stop being pregnant, and find abortions. Saying that the abortifacient pill she took is only a molecular mechanism automatically deploying (after she swallowed it) isn't an answer. And saying that until the fetus pokes its head out it isn't a human being isn't an answer either. The consequences of an untermenschen argument are, in my view, far worse than the consequences of paying for an abortion.
The woman and the fetus have to be considered on equal terms as both equally human. Banning abortion would make untermenschen of women. Denying the humanity of the fetus would make untermenschen of the children. There is no ethical basis for either idea.
Re: "A Brief History of British Gun Control" by P.A. Luty
As if taking guns away in Britain isn't enough they are completely taking away the right to self-defense as well.
Here is an interesting report from Cato entitled Self-Defense: An Endangered Right (Cato Policy Report vol. XXVI No. 2).
From the report:
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, the situation continues to erode even further in England. Kitchen knifes are on the chopping block and many in England are calling for their abolishment. It is indeed a vertical slope. What is next, golf clubs, umbrellas, bowling pins? Stephen King's novels can't hold a candle to the reality of the situation currently manifesting itself in England. We in America must kick our efforts to defend our "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" into overdrive lest we end up like England.
Steven Lynes Sr.
The Bad Old Days
You guys might want to check a Slate article published this a.m. (Mon. 22 feb. 2010) re: poisoning of booze during Prohibition. Maybeso license reprint in TLE or give readers the URL?
[That article link is belowEditor]
"The Chemist's War
I would like to comment on a statement made by Steve Lynes.
According to him: "I just happen to believe that a baby, whether inside or outside the mother's womb is a human being, regardless of its ability to reason and think on some higher level and as such has the right to be born and to live."
Biologically, he is undoubtedly correct. However, he is making a severe mistake in his ethical reasoning. If the ability to think and reason is irrelevent to him, in determining the rights of a living organism, can I assume that he is EITHER a strict vegetarian, OR would have no ethical problem whatsoever with committing genocide against a hypothetical intelligent alien race? Once you disgard the mind as the basis for rights, you are led to either one or both of these alternatives.
I would also like to point out at this time that mentioning the Nazi's extermination of the mentally retarded is a red herring, for several reasons. One being that mentally retarded individuals do not exist as complete dependents on one necessarily specific person. Another being that mentally retarded individuals DO think, simply not as well as the rest of us. A fetus prior to a certain point (at least the 6th month) does not think in any organized fashion at all. Qualitatively, those who are able to think at ALL fall into one category, which would be analogous to that of all television sets, ranging from a 6 foot plasma screen down to a 6" black and white special at Wal-Mart, and those who cannot think at all fall into another category, that of piles of wire and other scrap, which might or might not someday be made into a TV, but currently are NOT a TV at all.
Also, the 'right to life' is actually more specifically stated as the right not to be murdered. Thus, although it is immoral to put the mentally retarded, or Jews, or anyone else in a gas chamber, there is not and cannot be a moral obligation on others to feed them, or otherwise take care of them, regardless of whether they 'need' to be taken care of in order to survive. People may choose to do these things out of compassion, or some other motivation, but there cannot be an obligation to do so. The situation with the fetus is similiar. The fact that it 'needs' to be in someone else's body in order to survive, cannot place an obligation on that person to keep it in their body. Otherwise, why does just the fetus have this special right to other people's bodies? Why not other people, like kidney patients? Do they have a right to have people yanked off the street and one of their kidneys removed, because they 'need' a transplant to survive?
To which Jim Davidson replied:
It has to be irrelevant in my choice of whether a living organism is to be respected as a human being because I don't have the ability to apply an intelligence test every time I encounter another human being.
A number of cultures have applied various types of tests to see if persons in, e.g., Sweden in the early 1970s, should be forcibly sterilised. Several of the more infamous cases resulted in the forced sterilisation of men and women who were not mentally defective, but needed to wear eyeglasses. Being someone with poor eyesight, corrected at an early age, I feel very uncomfortable with this idea Ann has of determining whether another human being is able to think and reason before condescending to grant him or her "rights."
That would not be a reasonable assumption. It would be likely, though, that he is not a cannibal.
Based on Ann's position, is it reasonable to suppose that she would cook and eat the remains of a successful abortion?
The book Starship Troopers and the film based on it, as well as films like Aliens deal with this matter of competing races slaughtering each other. The economics of star travel are not yet proven, so I have my doubts about the effectiveness for the military financial industrial complex in seeking to exterminate alien species in distant star systems. But I will say that they've made quite a business, since 1819, of genocide here on Earth.
I deny and disparage Ann's ability to determine whether another human being has a mind. Similarly, I denied Sharon Presley's ability to do so, and she is very pissed off about it. Some people have no sense of proportion. lol
No, it isn't. What it is, however, is an analogy. Reasoning from analogy, if we are to permit embryos and fetuses with admittedly human DNA and the potential to grow into adult human beings over time, to be classified by the state as defective and untermenschen, then what can we expect? What the Nazis did to the handicapped is an illustration of where you get to when you go down that path.
I agree wholeheartedly with L. Neil Smith in his view that banning abortion would create an enormous police state apparatus, to make the war on drugs look like a cake walk. I don't want that kind of a police state. Therefore, I also don't want the state to have any say in who is and is not a human being.
So what? If mentally retarded people can be exterminated by the state for the state's supposed omniscience over their potential and worth to the community, where does it end? It ends with Ann Morgan serving as a "comfort woman" in an army camp until she is raped to death. No, it is not a comfortable idea. It is not meant to be.
And how do you know that they think? Do they all think? How about persons with malformation of the brain?
So says Ann, and she has a right to free expression. Woe betide the people who let the state say who can and cannot think.
This appears to be a red herring. People are not television sets.
Oh, wait, it is an analogy. Okay, then.
There is no right to life, nor is there a right to be born.
I wonder if Ann Morgan understands what was done by the states fighting World War Two to the people who were supposedly under their protection? It is not that the Nisei could not take care of themselves, it is that they were forcibly evicted from their homes and transported against their will to concentration camps in the dead of winter in the mountains of Wyoming and other places and forced there to build crude shelters from substandard materials. The Jews were similarly deported and evicted and also tortured and slaughtered. The mentally handicapped in Germany were living in loving families who chose to take care of these people. Some of those killed by the Germans were physically handicapped. So when Ann needs a wheelchair....
Indeed. Which is why Ann does not need to disappear the humanity of the embryo and fetus in order to have as many abortions as she wants.
And given that there are enormous dangers in creating a class of subhumans with no rights, even though Ann refuses to see these difficulties, it is better not to go down that path. And it is not necessary to go down that path.
So I have to wonder if Ann is classifying the fetus as subhuman because of some fetish she has for classifying people according to intelligence. Rather sad.
An excellent question.
And Ann Morgan replied:
Jim Davidson wrote:
Jim, you do not need the ability to apply an intelligence test. Any human being, past the age of birth, unless there is something overwhelming wrong with it (such as the brain being absent or dead due to birth defects, disease, or injury) has the ability to think to at least SOME degree. You have stated that the question of whether or not an embryo or any other human being has the ability to think is irrelevent to you.
That is a red herring. As I stated before, there is a distinct qualitative difference between someone who thinks POORLY and an embryo that does not think at all. In addition, you are deliberately conflating actual aggression against an individual (namely gassing or sterilizing them) with a refusal to support or subsidize that individuals life or reproduction at the unwilling expense of others.
Again, you are deliberately misinterpreting everything I have written. I do not claim the ability to determine what sort of mind a human being after birth may or may not have. However, unless everything human beings have learned about brain function, physics, and numerous other subjects is completely and utterly incorrect, the fact is that no organized thought whatsoever is possible in a fetus younger than 6 months, before myelinization of the nerve sheaths in the brain occurs. An ant has a brain functioning on a higher level than a human fetus prior to that age. It is absurd to grant rights to something in which any thought at all is impossible, simply because it has a human genome. And I take it from your reference to Star Ship Troopers that I am correct in my assumption that the existence of a mind in something NON human like an alien is meaningless to you, and you would find extermination of such aliens for no good reason to be acceptable.
Frankly, unless there is something I am missing, I really would not trust someone like you in my house. Since for among other reasons, I have a rather interesting mutation, an extra cervical vertebrae in my neck, which technically means I fall outside the normal standards for even being a MAMMAL, let along a human being (all mammals, even giraffes, have 7 cervical vertebrae. I have 8). By your standards, since I might not qualify as 'human', a standard to which by your own admission you do not consider the existence or non-existence of a functioning mind, if I were in a burning building, you would rescue a petri dish with a fertilized egg, of a more normal genetic code (one for the normal 7 cervical vertebrae) before you would rescue me. As a matter of fact, since by your own admission the existence or non-existence of a functioning brain is meaningless to you, you would have to rescue two or more such petri dishes from a fire, before rescuing a 3 year old child.
Another Letter from Ann Morgan, with reply from Tatiana Covington, A.X. Perez, Jim Davidson, and Ann Morgan
You know, it seems to me that if people really wanted to reduce the abortion rate, they would legalize the sale of infants. Right now, a lot of mothers who are pregnant feel they have no very good reason to carry a baby to term, when they don't want it anyways. Why not provide them with a reason, in terms of money? Right now, when infants are adopted, EVERYONE gets money out of it. The doctors. The lawyers. The adoption agency. Everyone EXCEPT the mother. That would be going QUITE too far.
And another point I would like to make is a practice I find extremely annoying, namely that of public schools deliberately and knowing providing FALSE information regarding the effectiveness of certain methods in preventing either pregnancy or disease, in order to (in their opinions) try to get the students in schools to conform to a predetermined course of behavior favored by them, namely that of sexual abstinence, rather than being sexually active and using birth control.
So far as I am concerned, this is a form of fraud, and a violation of the ZAP. I think it should be a crime, and grounds for a lawsuit, for any person in a position of authority (including doctors to patients or teachers to students) to knowing provide (or to instruct others to provide) any health information which they know to be false, and should be liable for any and all health problems resulting from actions taken or not taken as a result of the false information given.
To which Tatiana Covington replied:
Abstinence simply has to work. Pregnancy can only result from conception, itself impossible if sperm and ovum do not meet, itself impossible without sex. Therefore, avoiding sex will prevent babies. QED.
And it costs nothing. Nothing needs to be sold, there are no devices, chemicals, interventions, metabolites, expensive counselors, just nothing.
It's free. Nobody can make any money off it.
And A.X. Perez replied:
One last time. Create society where women control their bodies. This means where they know and emotionally believe that they have the right to choose their partners and what methods they use to avoid unwanted conception (yes i know men have responsibilities in this area, part of choosing partner is choosing man who meets these responsibilities). This means that women have access to the appropriate tools and training to use force to back these choices.
The number of unwanted pregnancies will drop drastically causing similar drop in abortions not caused by unforseen health problems where the woman does what she must to survive. People who want to reduce abortions happy. People who want women to exercise the right to control their bodies happy. the intersecting set of these two groups becomes a larger fraction of each group.
We must pursue paragraph two and stop messing around with abortion debate. This is because carrying out 2 debate obviated.
And Jim Davidson replied:
This proposal seems somewhat less modest than Jonathan Swift's answer to Irish poverty, and likely to be far more fraught with unintended consequences.
The fact that the current system is engaging in a system of chattel slavery does not impress me as a reason to engage in a system of chattel slavery.
Women in many jurisdictions can work as surrogate mothers and carry a baby to term for another family. If Ann is proposing a system of compensated work-for-fee, that's cool. But this does not mean that babies are being sold.
It is on my list of things to hate about pubic schools, but there are so many. I believe in the separation of school and state. But, then, I believe in the abolition of the state as a way of liberating the serfs.
There is a term for knowingly providing false information: fraud. It is currently a crime in many places.
One of the many problems of the state as a system is its tendency to absolve criminal behavior amongst its agents (police, spies, bureau-rats, politicians, teachers). Fancy hats and badges of office do not make criminal behavior good and right.
And Ann Morgan replied:
Tatiana Covington wrote:
All true. Also true: It's not a very realistic alternative in the real world.
Hundreds of millions of years of sexual reproduction have selected for life forms with a very strong sex drive. You are trying to argue a point based on the universe as how you think it *should be* rather than the universe as how it is. Needless to say, so long as you persist in this, you aren't going to solve the abortion debate, or very many other problems.
Steve Lynes wrote:
Who the hell is Eric? The editor of The Libertarian Enterprise is Ken Holder. Not to be confused with Eric Holder, e.g.
By way of contrast, Ken is not a lawyer, works very hard for a living, and isn't a government funded parasite.
It would be a mistake to suppose that there is a firestorm. Now, by using cc instead of bcc, you do risk a mailstorm. But that's okay, you wanted it that way.
As to dissension, the whole nature of individual liberty is dissent. Or, put more explicitly, individual liberty starts with refusing to consent to be governed externally by coercion and brutality.
If you want to take credit for dissent, say something controversial. My experience of TLE readers and authors is that they don't need to agree with each other about everything to stand firmly on principle against the brutality and outrage of government. If this be dissent, make the most of it.
Oh, go on with you. I barely know who you are. Give me time, I'm sure I'll find some reason to attack your character. lol
And it is well that you do not apologise. There is no point to it. Your friends understand why you were terse, and your enemies won't forgive you no matter what you say.
See, there you go showing yourself to be a man of discernment and taste. It'll take some doing to attack your character. -smile-
As I've said, I believe that too. A person is a person, no matter how small.
Very clearly what you identify here is a positive right to be born and to live by causing someone else (at least the mother, possibly those who care for her) to live for the sake of the child. If the child has a right to be born and to live, then what of identical twins John and Joe.
John has bone marrow cancer and needs a transplant. His twin brother Joe is a suitable donor but is unwilling to undergo surgery. Can Joe be compelled by John's "right to live" to donate bone marrow to John?
Every year, blood banks need additional donors. The people who depend on those blood banks are like that child in its mother's womb. They have, in your words, "the right...to live." Does that right exist? And if it exists, does it make it legitimate for the state to compel blood donations, especially from people who are universal donors?
You have two kidneys, a large liver, two lungs, two eyes, and there are many people with a "right to live." According to your reasoning, they should be able to compel you to contribute to their survival if they need one of those things. And, hey, you have a pancreas and a heart. Maybe a death panel should determine whether you ought to get to keep those, or live on an artificial system. Or, really, just die for the sake of another.
The non-aggression principle does not generate a right to be born, nor a right to live. It simply says that you have no right to act in aggression against another human being. http://www.ncc-1776.org/whoislib.html
"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else."
Please find me "right to live" in there. If you attack another person, or her property, or her freedom, she has the freedom to defend herself against you. That's true whether you are six feet tall or six inches long.
We can make common cause.
Your mother, I believe, chose wisely. I also believe that it was, at all times, her choice. Your father had no say in the choice, because her body was not his property. Nor would her body have become his property in the event they were married. People should not seek to own one another, and systems of chattel slavery, even ones based on very ancient customs, are wrong.
Um, really? Prevent by force, or by consent?
Dude, I have no idea what you did or said. If she chose to bear the child to term, that was her choice. Unless you tell me you beat her with a rubber hose, I'm not sure how to respond. If her consent was involved, then it was consent. If coercion were involved then it was wrong. So what do you mean "unduly influenced?"
A good attitude. And, I believe, as Kathryn Graham wrote, that most people have the same view of human life. Many women who have abortions struggle with the choice, wish to avoid the choice, and are not happy with the choice. Yet they do what they feel they must choose to do.
Similarly, many people who are confronted with a trespasser, or a rapist, or a thief, or a killer, are reluctant to use deadly force in self defence. Even so, it happens about two million times a year in the USA that a gun owner prevents a crime by confronting a criminal.
Correct, currently there is not a really good answer. A really good answer would be to find a technology, or set of technologies, so a woman could stop being pregnant and the fetus would survive. An artificial womb or a transplantation technique would serve this purpose. And, of course, if abortion is outlawed, those technologies won't ever be developed. Police states are notoriously poor places for innovation.
Obviously, not all birth control works every time. What a person wants to do and the choices available to them are not always the same.
Forcing your will on one person for the sake of another does not sound libertarian to me. You may wish to reconsider this point.
There is no hope. Hope is a waste of time. If you want something to happen, take action for it to happen. Prayer would be a useful action. Sitting around hoping is pointless. Let's work towards a solution and make it happen.
Tatiana Covington wrote:
A tiger has no conscious control over its actions, either, yet I am free to kill it in defending myself.
If every embryo always excretes the enzymes needed to prepare the uterus for implantation, then why do so many embryos die without ever doing so? Early stage miscarriages are quite common.
There used to be a class of crime called second degree murder. The French still favour this classification, the so-called "crime of passion." A person acting out of rage because of some proximate emotional stimulus gets a lighter sentence because "he couldn't help himself." It seems like a bullshit distinction to me.
Volition is volition. Actions have consequences. Embryos should not trespass where they are not welcome.
Your remarks in particular:
Allow me to remind you: Excluding rape, NO woman would get pregnant if she refused to allow coitus, or even a simulation of that.
You might make all the excuses in the world, but in the end it all comes down to the one making the decision: The woman.
Raging hormones? Not buying it. Either one is 'in control' of his life, or he isn't. If he isn't, then he's not sane. Not now, not ever.
"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."
Re. 1: "Letter from Tatiana Covington"
Re. 3: THX 1138
Regarding your missiveRe. 1 above.
Why, yes. Yes, let us all become BORGRe. 2 above.
Yes, let us 'mechanize' the whole procreation process, and thereby dehumanize ourselves such that we aren't 'born.'
Rather, we'll simply become factory assembly line products 'modified' to suit the cadre of insiders whose dream it is to rule us into a veritable unending hell of oppression.
Yes, let us become the products of 'factory farms' just like the animals we eat.
No more fornication, right?
Just sew-up that pudenda of yours, remove your ovaries, cut off your breasts, don a set of coveralls and git to work.
Oh, wait: You still want to have sex, right? Okay, maybe that will be allowed.
Remember that movie titled THX 1138Re. 3 above?
Does that get your pulse racing?
Sex is sooooo messy and icky, isn't it?
All that cum and go ...
When would you like to have that tracking chip installed?
"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."
Re: "The Ratchet Principle of Tyranny", letter from Ann Morgan
Devoured by Government
Have you ever watched a snake eat? As it swallows its prey whole, the jaw stretches wide open. The bottom jaw separates at the chin so that each half can work somewhat independently. Then one side will slide forward a ways, then pull backwards while the other half slides forward. The snake's teeth are backwards curving so that the prey will only move in one direction; down the snake's throat. This is similar to our situation. The Democrats are the left jaw and the Republicans are the right. Bureaucracy and counterfeit "laws" are the top jaw, pressing down on us. Any evidence that they are not all part of the same snake's mouth are an illusion. First one party gets into office and slides forward, then waits when the other party gains control. It is a dance of death for us, the prey. Slowly, inexorably leading straight down into the belly of the beast.
Interesting idea that i found on a left wing blog:
Sounds like the future of health care in America.
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."
The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet.
"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."
The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.
The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.
The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."
The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.
The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"
The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."
You know the drill. If you're smiling, you must pass it on, give someone else a smile too! Share the laughter!
Racism is Bullshit
Hi Ken and El Neil,
I've been enjoying the heck out of both "Escape from Terra" and "Phoebus Krumm". I seldom read the ongoing chatter about various themes in the story line. However, Sandy was in an ongoing pissing match regarding libertarianism (yet another fuckin' "ism"!)and Race"ism". This was really frustrating to read. Some fool was going on and on about how unfairly minorities have been treated by the PTB. Boo hoo! I was raised, and I raised my children with the truth that there is only ONE race, The Human Race. The whole argument is ridiculous,that one group has been treated less fairly than another because of the color of their skin and that they are somehow entitled to special treatment because of it? Even hundreds of years after the fact!
The rule of thumb I was taught, is if your grandparents were born here you're no longer something hyphen American. You're just an American like most everyone here. To be accurate I am North American. Like most native North Americans I consider myself a Human first. I just happen by chance of birth to be born on this Continent. My grandmothers grandparents died on the trail of tears from Cholera and Typhoid fever (Talk about initiation of force!). My great aunt Gertrude Mueller survived Dachau AND Treblinka. She was an Anglican missionary in Poland in 1940. No one in my family are demanding reparations. No one alive today in this country was ever a slave except to the banks, credit card companies and of course the tax man. As long as the dialog is mired in specious arguments about "Isms" we won't get to the real goal of libertarianism and that's individuals being responsible for themselves and their community without some group assuming supremacy over everyone else.
We all bleed red and we all die alone.
At 48 minutes into the February 24th FreeTalkLive.com podcast, which is a recording of their live radio show from that evening, Ian Freeman and Mark Edge begin to read L. Neil Smith's "The Muslim Menace" from the February 21st Libertarian enterprise.
What was most humorous to me was to hear them read the mentions of Muslim artists, thinkers and poets, and not recognize any of the names, including Omar Khayyam.
And here I thought Rocky and Bullwinkle's pun of "The Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam" would stick in the minds of American children for all time.
[The ignorance of "educated" Americans is astoundingEditor]
Re: "Stack and Drega" by Jim Davidson
A lot is being made of IRS agent Vernon Hunter who was killed by Joe Stack being a Vietnam vet, which is ironic considering that VC tax collectors were prime targets for Special Forces and SEALs during that war. I am sorry for Hunter's family, but he was not a victim but a volunteer. For 27 years he knowingly served an agency whose very existence violates the Bill Of Rights along with the ATF, DEA and others. If Waco and Ruby Ridge had not happened, would Tim Mc Veigh have bombed the Federal building? We may never know.
Every time government pushes it is inevitable someone will push back. Knock over one domino and it sets a whole chain of events in motion. This is not about "right" or "wrong" but action and reaction.
Re: "Letters from Ann Morgan, with replies from Richard Bartucci"
Quoting "Richard Bartucci:"
A fair percentage of my ancestors spent their lives in New England during the 17th century AD. Ugly dress codes, among other afflictions against personal freedom. I spent my youth near the beaches of Los Angeles and Orange counties, 1000 leagues from there in the late 1960sGhu is greatthen as a teen back in Mom's home town just a hundred miles north of Salem, I chose drab dress for myself, it was a personal choice, and one that works for a pump-jockey.
Of course I am opposed to laws against (or for) any form of dress. Some of my neighbors have a problem with me sitting out on the porch, reading a book, drinking a beer and smoking a (tobacco) cigarette. Even when I'm wearing a suit and tie (I prefer shorts and tshirt). Now I'm of the opinion that it's my porch (I pay the property tax), so it's not hurting them if I'm doing any or all of the above things, or sticking needles in my arm, or shoving spoons up my nose, while sitting out there naked. (I didn't say I was naked, just that I'd occasionally like to make the choice for myself).
But what's the problem if I was naked. I've spent more time protecting the children in this neighborhood than any government employee ever has. (Minor shit like rolling out [once] a trash can in front of assholes driving too fast up this suburban street come to mind). But the neighbors still don't like me. Too many of them are government employees and they feel that a private individual saving their childrens' lives reduces their authority as government employees. Plus, I've never kept my anarchism a secret, and that really pisses them all off, whether on current government payroll or on the retirement dole also paid by the same property taxes.
I made a personal choice not to breed after three miscarriages by my second wife, so I went for the tube snip.
When I open my restaurant, religious (or "legal") laws will not affect the dress code. My place, my rules. Neither flammable clothing nor bare skin are to be permitted when cooking. I have no religious objection to either skin or coverage; I'm an atheist; but I'll have to pay for the insurance, and those are two things that can really raise the rates in the food business. I happen to prefer women dressed in skin rather than burkhas, but that's a different story. When they are out in the serving area, the rules are different, and again, they may wear what they please or what they think will get the best tips.
Dress as you wish. In a perfect world (no, I don't expect to see one soon, there would have to be a whole lot of global warming), the only tan lines I would wear would be from the strips of leather holding my holster, and the shadow from the holster. Somebody else wants a tan line from head to foot. they can be as ugly as they choose (I'm uglier than I'd prefer, but that's genetics, and my sisters had a worse problem with that, since they look like me, but with better mustaches.
Unrelated to child trauma (there was some, but naked in the bathtub wasn't it), I do prefer kilts and tunics and tabards rather than trousers, if I actually have to cover myself (rarely a choice in the workplaceI'd better be dressed). That's been the case for most of my life, since before I joined the SCA. When the weather is fine, I prefer nudity. I'm generally opposed to laws I didn't vote for, but municipal ordinances are not subject to majority rule or individual choice. So i would have no problem hanging out on the porch, except for the neighbors across the street. The next-door neighbors would have no problem, they're from Brasil.
Oh yeah, in response to your line: "as I believe they have in certain townsand behave thuggishly where they have not gained political pre-eminence but have nonetheless disabled those mechanisms of government purposed to protect people from intimidation and assault, there must always be an understanding that the citizenry has to be ready to make that "appeal to heaven" of which the Founders were sensible."
Appeal to Heaven. It is to laugh. Pray for help, shoot in self-defense, whose blood ruins your rug? and whose blood would you prefer to do that? (Rugs are cheap, lives aren't).
And I don't give a rat's ass about "those mechanisms of government purposed to protect people from intimidation and assault". They never have. They've usually just made it easier for the rapists employed by government (who committed intimidation and assault) not to get raped (in prison) themselves.
To which Richard Bartucci replied:
I don't take exceptionmuchto what Mr. Griffiths had written above, but I think it appropriate to provide a clarification, inasmuch as Mr. Griffiths obviously fails to understand the use of the expression "appeal to heaven" in the context intended, which is found on the pine tree flag flown by Washington's cruisers during the American Revolution.
In the novel The Godfather (Mario Puzo, 1969), the expression "go to the mattresses" is used as a phrase meaning "prepare for all-out war." The American Mafia families would commonly bring in "out of town muscle" when engaging in violent conflict, and consolidate their housing by spreading mattresses on the floors of buildings they desired to protect or which were tactically advantageous.
At the time of the American Revolution, one of the texts upon which the patriots drew most heavily for their political thought was John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government (1689), with particular reference to those sections discussing the right of revolution. I quote from section 168 thereof:
Emphases all in the original.
What Mr. Griffiths seems to have interpreted as an admonition to kneel and pray wasin the Mafia's "go to the mattresses" sense evocative entirely of a determination to start breaking things and killing people.
Note that the pine tree flag upon which the phrase "An Appeal to Heaven" appeared had been a battle ensign.
I hope this helps. Thank you.
Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!