L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 85, August 14, 2000
Letters to the Editor
Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org
Could not help but think of this old essay I penned after the Davidian tragedy after reading the latest LE. It was meant to describe the picture painted by the media of events around Mt. Carmel but I suppose with just a little alteration it could pass as Danforth's report.
Anyway if you might want to use it in LE here it is below.
What I Learned about Waco from the Media Coverage of the
That David Koresh, when he was not busy molesting at least twenty-three girls (none of whom had yet reached the age of puberty) lead a raid of neo-nazies, extreme right wing talk show hosts, racist militias, paranoid conspiracy mongers and Branch Davidian Zombies, to assault and take over the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the nation's capital.
Flying helicopter gunships, driving tanks and armored personnel carriers, the Davidians and their demonic allies launched a dastardly dawn assault on the peaceful and law abiding agents of the BATF. Having kidnapped the innocent agent's children they cowardly used these same children as human shields to prevent the agents from fighting back in self defense. For the sake of the children the agents lowered their flag, and surrendered their headquarters to David Koresh and his horde of mindless child molesters. Then in what must be considered an act of gratuitous evil the Branch Davidians, whacko extreme right wing talk show hosts, libertarians, racist sexist militias, and Darth Vader (who's evil twin was David Koresh) ritualistically sacrificed those helpless innocent children -- but only after having sex with them of course.
Out manned and outgunned the BATF was forced to ask the FBI to help. Together they laid siege to the captured headquarters building in downtown Washington DC. Despite just provocation, the FBI and BATF still hoped for a peaceful end to the confrontation. To this end they set up loud speakers and broadcast Brahm's Lullabies into the now fortified captive compound. Agents, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer, the FBI's best, were put in charge of the negotiations.
Negotiations that the Branch Davidians sabotaged by shooting group moons and telling sexist jokes toward the general direction of the sensitive federal agents. When it became apparent that David Koresh's plan was to break out in a Normandy Beach type assault with both air and navel support, that his final solution was to have his cult zombies force every man, woman, and small animal on the North American Continent to have sex with him. Then they knew that they could delay no longer.
Arming themselves with wiffle bats and silly strings so as not to hurt anyone, the brave federal agents faced the tanks, helicopters, and sexual libido of the satanic David Koresh. Even with the agents dauntless courage it was a near thing. Beside which sinister dark forces had been gathering, unorganized extreme right wing neo-nazie militias were organizing, they were going to come to the aid of the extreme right wing talk show hosts, satanic cults, and the Davidians. Darth Vader was moving the Death Star into position. It was a near thing.
When it became apparent that David Koresh would be made to surrender, he forced all his cult zombies to soak themselves in lighter fluid and he personally lit each and every one, molesting the children first, for old times sake. The valiant BATF and FBI agents tried throwing themselves on the burning Davidians in order to smother the flames, yet even so only a few were saved.
The BATF in its mercy and forgiveness protects and feeds these lost souls, recognizing that redemption is never impossible.
Congress realizing that it had by tying the hands of our valiant Federal law enforcement contributed to the disaster, has decided to empower those two brave agencies by giving them the power to print money, declare war, grant letters of marquee, and to enter into treaties with foreign governments. This legislation has already passed the Senate and is only waiting for confirmation in the House.
And that's what I learned watching the media's coverage of the Waco hearings in congress. So most of all I want to thank the media without whom I probably would have thought that the government just gassed and burned to death 82 people who were basically minding their own business.
Hon. John E. Sebastian, P.G.
Fox News Channel had Jim Trafficant (D) on the Hannity and that Liberal Guy show last nite, and he stated that he had a number of Affadavits that indicated that Janet Reno was guilty of TREASON. It's real shocker for us Libertarians (LOL), but he seems determined to bring her down. He states that DOJ is "out of control" "guilty of selective prosecution". Some would think that Jim-Boy has a case of sour grapes, and this is a reaction to his own recent run-in with DOJ, but he denies this.
Certain statement he has retained note Reno had a "relationship with a mob-connected call-girl" that she was appointed to Dade County as "a favor and thank-you to the mob" and has been apprehended for "DUI substance abuse". His words, not mine. I've been critical of Reno in the past, but he just blew me right out of the water.
Trafficant further explains that Reno "did not issue a special prosecutor on the china/travelgate issue because of her (sic) blackmailability". The Attourney General did not even entertain a "Junior High School debateon China". This is a serious charge, and he invited Reno to "sue me, Janet, then I can get China into the court"
In conclusion, he indicated that because of DOJ inactivity on this issue Reno "aided and abetted the enemy by not appointing a special councel.". In any language that is treason, and I'm rooting for Jim Trafficant.
Jack Jerome email@example.com
When last I wrote, it was concerning the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) position on the right to keep and bear arms, or more directly, how their position is faulted. The ACLU positions are at odds with their stated goals of protecting all liberties. In fact, their acts in that regard are downright duplicitous. My contention then, as now, is that the political agenda of that org. mandates something less than the truth, while attempting an outward appearance that looks as valid for all external intents and purposes. Now I shall address their position concerning the First Amendment.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
"Congress shall make no law . . ." A simple edict; how much simpler can one get? How many times in the last 200 plus years has it seen a violation of its basic premise?
Everything from the faulty tenets of the Aliens and Seditions Acts, to modern day edicts of corrupt denunciations about 'yelling fire in a theater', to thoughts of various sexual aspects finding their way into the aural/visual media, are railed against as unprotected 'speech'.
And, worse yet, how many judges have lied out their respective backsides in pursuit of a policy that allows all sorts of mischief under the law which says there shall be no law? Equivocation is the twin sister of prevarication.
As an aside here, and to spike your interest, allows me to pose the following question: If, as a previous writer to this forum has commented, that the group otherwise known as NAMBLA is as good an example as any to discuss these aspects of what isn't 'protected speech', then how is it that it is against federal law to distribute any materials that infers sexual activity between minors or minors and adults, yet NAMBLA cannot be outlawed - not that I would wish such a thing, but if NAMBLA has the right (creator derived no less) to espouse sexual contact between men and young boy (and presumably adult women and young girls), and if their stated purpose is to foster that sexual contact, then is not that the very same as publishing tracts which describe that philosophy in various detail?
How on earth can you talk about something without discussing its aspects? If you talk about something that is in essence outlawed, then are you not in essence propagating illicit speech? What is the difference between talking and writing? Does not either broach the subject, and provide a means of communication?
It amounts to sheer idiocy, to proclaim that we are free to discuss our thoughts, but we cannot commit those thoughts to a permanent medium. Is not 'expression' the essence of realizing the tangibility of a thought?
Not unlike the court decisions of the 1960's and 1970's concerning what was pornography and what wasn't, was determined as that material having as an aspect of its subject, a scientific interest.
Consider: all one needed to qualify a movie as being of serious scientific value, was to have one scene of a medical professional discussing some aspect professional curiosity, while every possible (dare I say) debauchery (in the conventional sense) was on display in almost every other scene!
We need an understanding, so let's get one. First, a small piece of information: The author of this article is an indifferentist. To the uninformed, I believe that all religions are of equal validity; I make no distinctions. What you believe is your right to believe, no matter how strongly, and nobody or group of anybodies has the right to tell you otherwise, make you kowtow to a certain mode of behavior, or attempt to inflict any aspect of (to coin a term) religio-polity upon you at any time, anywhere, anyplace, for any purpose.
That said, allow me to observe that while religion is the first thing discussed in the Amendment in question, and communication is discussed by way of 'speaking' or 'press' - which might be any thing used to convey a thought, do note that politics of any type is not even discussed, or alluded to. No political idea is broached as either proper or improper.
In the same way that the good judge Robert Bork openly commented that there was no specific right to privacy, I make the same proclamation as regards politics.
Judge Bork, if I read his position correctly, held the the term 'privacy' was not even mentioned in the 4th Amendment. It certainly is alluded to, in as much as politics is alluded to in the 1st Amendment.
The USSC (U.S. Supreme Court) is want at times to apply a penumbra of sorts to shade certain liberties, while fully exposing others. That, as far as I am concerned, is the practice of hypocrisy.
So, the questions arise: What is religion? What is politics? Are not they really the same things and coequal?
In our American government, we agree not shove our respective politics, or our religions down each other's throats. Well, that works well only part time. It seems the socialists in office have been busy using the government to shove their polity down everybody's throats for some time.
But wait, isn't that the same thing as shoving religion down your neighbor's throat? After all, socialism is a belief ...
Politics is all about control, and control is all about time, and time is the essence of life. Politics then, is about how much - and how long - you control the lives of other people.
Religion is all about control, too; and whether it is self-control, or the control of yet others, is a directly related matter. In fact, in many nations, their polity is controlled by a national religion. So, what really is the difference?
If the net effect of control with either is the same, no matter the agency exerting that control, then can it not be said that the agencies are equal?
Consider: If a white man enslaves a black man, or a black man enslaves a white man, what is the difference? If a white man enslaves a white man, and a black man enslaves a black man, again, what is the difference?
If, in all cases of the above, the enslavement was done in the pursuance of religion, or in the pursuance or a polity, what is the difference with either the religion or the polity? Do they not result in the same act? Is not the result the same?
Does it matter what you believe, as long as the results are equal?
The government can no more force me to abstain from a religion, than it can force me into one; does the same goes for a political party? It is interesting to note that there is no stated prohibition in the First Amendment preventing the government from recognizing a political establishment, nor prohibiting one either.
There is no power inferred in the Constitution proper, that allows any power to be used in recognition, or in the affront, of a certain polity. Since there is not power delegated for such a thing, it must be prohibited, at least by the Tenth Amendment standard, and the Ninth buttressed by 14th Amendment.
If my politics are my religion, and vice-versa, then what is the difference? And, more importantly, who has the right to define for me the differences? If I choose to join the Islamic Jehad to express my political goals, is not my polity that of a certain belief? Can I not use my beliefs to attain office? My actions are limited only by the proscriptions spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and subsequent Amendments as they apply - once I attain office.
If I can indeed use my beliefs to attain office, then it follows that in order to do that, I must be able to express them openly, and without restraint. If public office is the highest achievement that a citizen my attain, then is it not an affront to the First Amendment to limit the expressions of a personal belief in any public setting?
If a teacher may profess an affiliation with a particular political party, and as well cite a personal religious belief - in passing, does it not follow that while not expressly engaged in the activity s/he was hired for, that they should also be able to engage in discussion with their charges on a non-credited basis, and that the students should be equally as well unencumbered in the same endeavor?
So, if in the sphere of the public school, how is it that the official religion of the state is the only allowed religion? Is that not specifically disallowed by the 1st Amendment?
The court is practicing the politics of exclusion. In order for it to be proper - in the sense of it being a complete and total exclusion, every last aspect of religion must be excluded. That would remove the teaching of just every subject of education, unless every subject were so sanitized as to remove every reference to the historical acts from whence many things emanate. That means that math is 'history', as well as the subject of history itself. No languages, and no writing either. All of those subjects cannot possibly be taught properly without a recounting of their historical aspects, and how certain things came about. In fact, the children would just have to sit still for 8 or so hours looking at a blank wall. You cannot talk about ANY aspect of human existence without discussing religion in one way or another.
Enquiring young minds want to know, and sanitizing those subjects will only lead to a black market on knowledge. Actually, that might be good.
The term 'politics' as defined in the American Heritage Dictionary (V4.0) as: "1. The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
Whereas religion is defined as: 1. a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship. 2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order. 3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. 4. A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
My religion, as with my politics, is that of Liberty. I choose to believe that no person or group may at any time dictate to me what I may think, believe, discuss, purvey, or otherwise communicate with other willing parties, nor may they prevent the exercise of those activities, in a public or private place where where all are in accord to the acts, without coercion.
According to the definition of politics given above, if the essence of a government is based on the belief of liberty for all citizens, and if religion is the essence of a belief, then is not the belief in liberty a religion in itself? If I proclaim that Liberty is my strongest belief, and that the Creator is the maker of Liberty, then does not my belief in Liberty qualify as a religion?
The Amendment in question says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .", therefore, nobody is required to believe in liberty. They may live here, and practice whatever belief they desire, as long as they do so peaceably; inasmuch as the Amendment continues: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;".
The ACLU believes that no part of a constituted government may at any time show or display any sort of affection or disaffection to any kind of religious belief, in any way, manner, fashion, or form in a public venue, while using public monies, or property.
I can agree to this in regards to the use of public monies to show a support of, or to emphasize a regard for a particular religion, or to make laws that defer to, or decry any particular religion or any number thereof. Government really does not have any business emphasizing anybody's personal beliefs, especially if its purpose is to serve every citizen equally, regardless of belief - including Liberty.
A town clerk may well wear a 'Jesus saves' tee shirt, and not be in violation of any law, since s/he is practicing a personal belief for themselves. S/he can also pray if the matter strikes them as necessary, and they do it in such a way as to not deprive the town of its lawful accounting of time, and as long as s/he does not actively proselytize on town time, or use the town facilities in that regard, then the matter is a moot one.
So, what's the big deal about children praying on their own, and not interfering with others while doing it? If the town clerk is on government (public) property, and so are the children, then what is the difference? Does it matter that one is getting paid while the others aren't?
Additionally, if a student is asked to deliver a convocation at a school event, and the matter is up to the student as to the subject, then is not the student free to 'express' her/himself? If s/he decides to deride a certain political belief, and offends those members of that polity, do they arise and submit to the court that their rights have been abridged? No one forced them to be there at that time, no one forced them to join a party against their beliefs. They do have the right to rise and protest ...
If a convocation at a public gathering, is issued by a private citizen, student or otherwise, then the matter is also moot, since neither is a public official, and therefore represents no public policy. It matters not whether it happened on school grounds, or just off school grounds, as public property is public. Does not the speaker have freedom of expression (speech)?
The matter, I have been informed, is that of the government acting as a facilitator or franchisor for the event. But that position is faulted on the following accounts: The government also franchises the highways, the 'ether' through which the Broadcast media propagates, the entire telecommunications industry, the U.S.Mails, and a whole slew of other things. Does that mean that they could well cause all religious matter to cease propagation as a result?
Consider: If a student enters town hall, and kneels upon a prayer carpet (towards Mecca) in the lobby, is that an unlawful practice of religion? Or, if a Roman Catholic is standing in line at town hall - for whatever reason, would it be an unlawful practice of religion for her/him to break out a Rosary and pray silently? If the town does nothing to either of those people, then is it recognizing an establishment of religion?
Certainly the government does recognize some establishments of religion, just look at the calendar some time, and discover that a business can be sued for discriminating against someone for not allowing them time-off in pursuance of a religious event. Recognition, is recognition, no matter how you stack it, pack it, roll it or stuff it.
But therein lays the rub of this matter. The U.S. Supreme Court has been hoodwinked by the likes of the ACLU, not because the ACLU has been close to right, but because the ACLU has in fact dissembled and dissimilated on the right to practice a private belief in a public place. Consider that Marxists may practice their belief of atheism quite openly, and without the slightest impediment enforced against them, all within the confines of a public school. Yet, youngsters whom have a recognized religion in the positive, and recognized senses, are denied every act in comport with and pursuance to the practice of theirs. Why is this?
Is not professing the antitheses of a something, the same act as the professing the thesis of that something, in the terms of professing a belief?
Take for instance the three statements: I believe in God, and you cannot make me stop! I don't believe in God, and you can't make me begin! I really have no position as to a God.
The first two are statements of belief. The third is a neutral position.
The first two will argue till the cows come home - and then some, while the other guy will be stuck with milking the cows!
If in the regards to a mode of thinking, we pursue a vein of action that exposes the essence of our thinking, then it seems that the ACLU is in pursuance of a Marxist polity. Never once has that organization pursued actions against Marxists practicing in public schools, not a single incident - ever, that I have been able to discover.
A child, or several, should be able to practice his belief in any place he desires, as long as he does not invade the rights of others, or disrupt the normal schedule of a school. It is the child only, who is in pursuance of his own ideas of what is proper for him; ergo, he is in pursuance of his own life and personal politics.
If I allow a thing without in any way either encouraging it or denouncing it, then it matters not that it happens, only that it may happen spontaneously, or perhaps not at all.
If grass grows in the crags, and I fertilize it, it is encouraged; if I poison it, it is discouraged; if I leave it untended by any act, it is unto itself on its own.
If my religion is my politics, does that mean that I can never express myself in a public school? Does it mean that I will forever be without a voice in protest an injustice? Does it mean that I can never deliver a convocation in such a place? Does it mean that I will be denied equal protection under the law? Does it mean that the Constitution will not apply to me? Does it mean that I cannot practice Liberty on government property? Does it mean that the government which was enacted to protect my liberty, is indeed antithetical to that very Liberty?
And, what of the ACLU? What would be its proper name then?
The ultimate answer is that our government has been perverted to vain and vile ends. The only answer is that in order to correct this gross violation of premise, is that all - and I do mean ALL - beliefs must be allowed to air themselves in whatever forum they may discover themselves, and without either official denouncement, or encouragement. As with the airing of any opinion, let the weight of proof fall upon the attacker of the opinion, and thereto, let the professor of a thought be its principal. As with the marketplace of commerce for goods, the marketplace of thoughts must also be allowed to exist in open competition, and the best of those thought will eventually become the standards upon which all others will be gauged. And government, how will it operate? That which governs least, governs best: that which it cannot touch, it cannot molest.
E.J. Totty firstname.lastname@example.org