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Letter from Terence Geoghegan
A few brief comments on two articles appearing in TLE No. 48. (For my
other correspondents, I am enclosing the full text of TLE No. 48 at
the very bottom of this message. Time to subscribe, you lot.)
First I should mention that the two first pieces --
Mr. Taylor's 13 philosophical precepts and
Mr. Smith's "Thirteen Questions" for GWB
were absolutely brilliant. Between the two, you have crafted the
finest bullshit detector I have seen in some time. My compliments.
On to the two specific items I wished to comment on:
In "THE NEW 'PROVOS',"
Andy Barniskis proposes a new, "Provisional"
NRA, to express our displeasure with the current regime.
I like it.
I have been an NRA Life Member since about 1985, and have similarly
been dissatisfied with the pantywaist accommodationist policies of
the NRA for some time. Like others, I have toyed with the idea of la
grande geste, as publicly as possible resigning my Life Membership
How much more elegant is Mr. Barniskis's proposal! After all, we PAID
for this membership -- why should we have to give it up simply because
we lack the facility of a Charlton Heston or a Wayne La Pierre for
ass-kissing and boot-licking? (And yes, I will dutifully send a copy
of this to the Chamberpots -- uh I meant Chambermaids -- uh, I meant
Chamberlains -- at the NRA.)
Andy, with your permission I'd like to sign on immediately so that I
can call myself a charter member of the Provisional NRA. I like the
way the word looks, included in my usual sign-off as it appears below
this message. I like what it means even better.
The second matter of interest--in an article originally published by
the CATO institute, Casey J. Lartigue Jr. laments the lack of an
adequate supply of transplant organs.
But the solution to this matter is simple. It can be accomplished
with the stroke of a pen.
This is my understanding; please correct me if I am wrong:
In the U.S., one can, with difficulty, exercise one's right to donate
organs. For example, I carry in my wallet the "donor card" supplied
by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Not satisfied with
this, I have taped to my license itself the following signed, dated
IN CASE OF DEATH: I AM AN ORGAN DONOR!!! HARVEST ALL USABLE ORGANS
Of course, this won't suffice either. In the case of my death,
medical personnel will dither while my body cools and my organs
deteriorate, waiting for ANOTHER authorization from my next-of-kin.
How stupid. Here's the solution: immediately pass a federal law,
superseding all state laws (with provision for the states to opt out,
to satisfy 10th Amendment concerns) which states:
"Those who DO NOT wish to donate organs upon death may affirmatively
choose not to, by signing and carrying with them at all times a
document to that effect. Otherwise, the 'default setting' is that all
dead meat belongs to the gummint."
For those Libertarians among us, we can propose a private-sector
administrator of the organ banks and transplant lists to keep the
gummint out of it, but you get the idea -- once you're toast, you're in
the organ banks so that SOMEONE can allocate your organs to the next
folks on the national, or local, or however you want to administrate
it, recipient list.
Those who have pagan superstitions about being buried in one piece,
or whatever benighted anti-social crap leads them to such hostile
behavior, can ensure that their precious meat will never be
disturbed. (Witness the well-known shortage of organs in Italy -- until
the parents of an American boy, murdered in Reggio Calabria, shamed a
whole country into changing its ways.) Of course, fair is
fair--opting out of the organ donation default setting will mean that
they are ineligible for RECEIVING any organ transplants. Let's see
how many stand on principle, and for how long.
This legislation would require some sort of anti-litigation
protective clause, ensuring that those medical personnel who
harvested organs in a good faith belief that the arriving meat was a
willing donor, when in fact said meat had just failed to carry its
anti-transplant card in its swim trunks or whatever, would be
shielded from lawsuits for "wrongful harvesting."
As a society, where did we ever get the stupid idea that perfectly
good organs should be thrown away simply because their erstwhile
owners were too goddamned lazy to fill out a donor card, or because
next-of-kin were unavailable? Keep in mind that this proposed law
would do NOTHING to prevent folks who don't want to contribute from
refusing to do so -- it would only shift the "burden of proof," as it