Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 759, February 23, 2014

It isn't really that surprising: underneath
the skin of every "progressive", there is a
would-be plantation-owner and slave-keeper,
struggling to get out.

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The Auction Block Comes to Colorado
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads in part: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Remember that, for later.

In a story that recently made national news, a Colorado baker who, for reasons of Christian conscience, refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, has been ordered by a Denver administrative law judge (and exactly what the hell is an "administrative law judge", anyway?) to do so nonetheless—and make similar cakes for any other customers who request them—or face fines and possibly a stretch in prison.

He will file reports and be watched closely from now on.

I am not kidding.

The baker, who has said that he will disobey the order, is Jack C. Phillips, his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop. The judge's name is Robert Spencer. The gay couple are Charlie Craig and David Mullins. The lawsuit was brought on their behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Craig and Mullins originally filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Apparently Phillips had refused another such request, by a lesbian couple, some time ago, and, according to local talk show host Peter Boyles of 710KNUS, was deliberately targeted, or "shopped", possibly by the judge, himself. Meanwhile, a Colorado Democratic legislator (whose name I can't find) has just introduced legislation that would crank up the fine for this "offense" by 7000 percent.

In a specimen of logic so twisted it would make Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali vomit, Spencer has issued Phillips a "cease and desist" order—an official order to stop not doing something. It's exactly like a moment out of a nightmare collaboration between Stalin and Kafka.

Clearly, baker Phillips has a right, under the First Amendment—a right currently being denied him—to believe whatever he wishes, and to follow the precepts of his religion, as long as he doesn't deny anybody else their rights. He also has a First Amendment right to freedom of speech, which necessarily includes the right not to speak, when that appears more eloquent, or not to employ his artistic insights, intuitions, and skills in support of a cause that he personally finds obnoxious.

Certainly Craig and Mullins have their rights, as well, but they don't include compelling Phillips or anybody else to work for them, or to pretend as if they agreed with their ideas and help trumpet them to the world. The fact is, there are dozens of other bakeries in Denver more than willing to do that. But, as we now know from Obamacare, everybody has to comply. They want to get this guy and get him good.

It is precisely as if some judge tried to force me, a lifelong libertarian, to write essays in support of gun control or Marxism. Or perhaps I could be coerced into authoring a slim volume on animal rights—I write better than any of the ginks in that movement. There's a technical word for that idea: slavery. Together, almost a century and half after we believed it had been abolished, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives, Craig, Mullins, Spencer—and the ACLU—have miraculously brought slavery back to life.

Congratulations, guys, aren't you glad you saved your Dixie cups?

Now how about a nice loud rebel yell?

But, as usual, I digress.

Our concern, here, is not so much with the religious or free speech aspects of the First Amendment, as with the Thirteenth Amendment. It isn't really that surprising: underneath the skin of every "progressive", there is a would-be plantation-owner and slave-keeper, struggling to get out. Democrats have a long, sick history of always supporting involuntary servitude of one kind or another. It's why they're all such fans of victim disarmament—you can't have slaves running around the plantation toting guns, now, can you?

Former Denver radio talk show host Ken Hamblin understands at first-hand the way that more than a century of "progressivism" has undermined and destroyed black families and black culture, with its welfare payments, the minimum wage, and condescending programs like Affirmative Action. An "African-American" conservative who called himself "The Black Avenger", Hamblin was eventually forced off the air by his political enemies (most of them black and Hispanic leftists, clearing the way in the Denver broadcast market for all white radio hosting), for saying things like, "Every liberal ought to own his own Negro."

I often disagreed with Hamblin, but I miss him.

I have a good friend who, when he discovered that he'd been hired by a company, not because he was an excellent engineer, but in order to fill out a racial quota, quit cold. I suspect it has cost him a lot, but he can look at himself in the mirror when he gets up every morning.

I am not a conservative, or a Christian. I support gay marriage. As if it were yesterday, I remember our wedding in 1983, Cathy's and mine, in Holly Park in downtown Colorado Springs, and I wonder how we'd feel about it now, if the beauty and wonder of that occasion had been wrenched involuntarily out of somebody else's individual sovereignty.

That's probably a concept that no "progressive" can understand. Look at Obamacare: they're natutral-born slavers. If you told them that taxation is slavery, too, they'd most likely pee themselves. They're always right about everything, after all, and everybody else is wrong. And if you should disagree with them, then you're just a reactionary.

Or a racist.

Or a sexist.

Or a homophobe.

But they are losing their death-grip on this battered country, and incidents like this are a big reason why. Having lost three members of the Colorado senate, recalled for imposing unconstitutional gun laws on the people of this highly Western state has taught them exactly dick.

I would be happy to try to explain it to them—for sufficient remuneration.

No refunds.

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