L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 108, February 12, 2001
Plenty of Abuse to Go Around
Letters to the Editor
Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org
[In TLE #107, I tried sending the newsletter as a text attachment to see if that would help those with 'font difficulties' (see TLE #106). Responses were overwhelmingly negative, as summarized below.
<<The font of this new delivery format sucks big time.>>
So, for the foreseeable future, I guess we'll just have to struggle along as we were, with TLE in the body of the message, as close to 'straight ascii' as I can make it.—ed.]
From: "Roy J. Tellason" <email@example.com>
In the just-arrived issue of TLE107, I see:
[But ... but ... if you use Outlook Express, it's MIME or UUENCODE—and that ain't gonna' happen. Besides, MIME is the unofficial standard.—ed.]
I haven't bothered with the MIME-encoded copy, don't see a need for me to have extra headers that I don't need and would have to snip out before I saved the text file.
I thought the "standard" was text.
Even still, with what I thought was the plain version, I still had bunches of equal-sign-3D and a few equal-sign-B9, used in place of just an equal sign or an apostrophe.
Why is this necessary? What brain-dead software is it that can't deal with standard, ordinary text characters, but must pre-empt them for its own use so that they need to be "escaped" when they're used?
<<Silicon Valley is a hotbed of entrepreneurs and, supposedly, Libertarians. Perhaps we should be going there for talent as well.>>
<<I'm not saying "Bill Gates for President," ...>>
We could certainly do worse. And he has the money to run an effective campaign.
* * * * *
<<As to demolition materials and chemicals, this is like the "Would you want your neighbor building a nuclear bomb in his basement?" argument. If my neighbor is going to build a nuclear bomb (or fool around with demolition materials or deadly chemicals) in his basement or anywhere else, he isn't likely to make that known to me or to the police—whether these things are legal or illegal. Making them illegal is similar to making drugs illegal: it gives the puritans the opportunity to feel that they've done something constructive, when in fact they've done nothing to make us safer.>>
There's a big difference, though. If the neighbor is growing cannabis there's no danger to his/her neighbors. If the neighbor is an amateur chemist trying to produce meth then he/she is a danger to the neighbors because of the risk of fires and explosions. Meth should be produced by licensed chemists in licensed facilities. Nuclear materials should be handled by those with degrees in nuclear physics and licenses and should be dealt with on licensed facilities. It's just common sense.
* * * *
<<There is one bright side to these revolting displays. The desperation of the Clintons and their staff to skirt every rule, take every advantage, cart off everything that's not tied down, may at least show they've subconsciously realized Americans have begun to wise up to their act—that they're not likely to get back into the White House again in their lifetimes.>>
I'm afraid I can't be quite that optimistic, Mr. Suprynowicz. I think there's every chance that the former First "Lady" will be elected President in 2004. I hope it won't happen but it might.
From: "JACK JEROME" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Howdy John, I had occasion to listen to an unusual syndicated radio program called "The Business of Government Hour", unusual do to it's content this particular day. The program, sponsored by Price Waterhouse, investigates Government trends in employment and research. What made it unusual was its guest, a ranking Treasury official. She (Amanda) was initially discussing employment opportunities in the Department, when the conversation took a sinister bend.
She spoke of the shortcomings that her group was running into in reference to profiling passengers boarding airplanes. This Treasury agent indicated that current rules and regulations were restrictive (?) and it was easy for agents to run into "legal troubles".
To circumvent this "problem", she referenced new areas of research that will produce "non-invasive methods of scanning people for contraband or dangerous weapons". This includes "low emission scanning devices placed at airport entrances". The moderator of this program prompted her with "you mean like X-rays?" and she concurred.
These methods, she glowingly bore on, would prevent people to feel that they were being "singled out for a search". This would certainly avoid those civil rights lawsuits, since all would have their Rights violated equally.
Other interesting job openings were spoken of, including computer experts to hack into personal data systems in search of profile materials (stored files and pictures) that would allow warrants to be issued to permit further investigation. Since all these subjects had been broached in the space of fifteen minutes I was suprised to hear that the Treasury Department still uses warrants.
A new programming company has also hit the street, one very much in league with the concepts espoused by the aforementioned guest in this talk show. Visage Programming (visage.com) has developed a facial recognition software that recently was utilized to photograph all the people at Raymond James Stadium. These photos were then crossed with wanted posters and photos of known terrorists electronically. The altruistic creators of this orwellian software hope to market it to internet companies, banks, telephone services, anyone who will pay for it.
It sounds like a dream to some, no more fingerprints, retina scans, or DNA typing. To others, a nightmare, where your very face can be used to access all your personal data, with or without your permission. What would be the defense aginst this? Groucho glasses? Fake wax teeth? Should we be alarmed about this? Seems a little disturbing, taking this in as the Big Picture, doesn't it? Don't hold back, tell me what you really think.
Peace out, Jack
From: "campbell" <email@example.com>
It just shows that any and all censorship is bad, especially the
brain-dead electronic versions.
It just shows that any and all censorship is bad, especially the brain-dead electronic versions.
From: "Administrator" <Administrator@judiciary.senate.gov>
[As flattering (?) as it is to think that somebody on the Senate Judiciary Committee actually subscribed to TLE, it's too bad the effort was wasted. The 'administrator' blocks every delivery.—ed.]
From: "System Attendant" <CRANE-SRV1-SA@crane-smtp.army.mil>
Trend SMEX Content Filter has detected sensitive content.
Place = TLE ListMembers; ; ; John Taylor
Warning message from administrator:
[Hey, we scored again!—ed.]
[[ This is an automatically generated reply to your message ]]
[Yet more critical acclaim. On top of being summarily rejected and accused of sexual discrimination (a charge I willingly—and literally—accept, by the way), now we're spam artists as well. It's been quite a week at TLE!—ed.]