L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 143, October 15, 2001
POINTS OF VIEW
The War Against Terrorism.
The Cold War is over, China is going capitalist and the War on Drugs seems somewhat to be petering out. What crisis can be used to further the aims of the control freaks ... hmmm I wonder.
I am not saying that there is any greater conspiracy here than a band of terrorists striking at a hated enemy. (I am not saying that is all it is though.)
People are naturally entrepreneurial AND have a desire to control their surroundings, which for many includes the people in their surroundings.
This new war will be perfect for them.
Unlike a normal war against a country, this one will be worldwide and thus a lot harder for the media to cover. If you thought the coverage of Desert Storm, Waco, or Kosovo was anemic wait until these hapless talking heads try to cover a war that is occurring in widely separated countries, with little build up, and that are over quickly. Even the best news people are only going to able to do so much. Add to that most of the alleged terrorist infrastructure is in areas with little if any internet access.
This will leave only the participating anti-terrorist agencies as the main source of news on operations. I cannot imagine that it would be in those agencies best interests to be truthful about real events or to resist creating whatever stories they deem necessary. It will be The Gulf of Tonkin over and over again.
Also, in a "standard" war one side or the other is expected to win at some point. With the war over, however it went, the crisis is gone. Not so here. As long as there are angry people there will be terrorists. Continuing anti-terrorism will create more orphans, instill more hatred, and provide motivation for an endless crop of new terrorists. Ah, job security. Not for the line troops who will fight and die but for politicians and other policy makers. These prattling mudf**kers will always support more funding for the war and will always support new restrictions on liberty because…well because it's what they do.
Terrorist and anti-terrorist actions will supply an endless source of American dead and maimed to be used by the suited vultures in D.C. as reasons to continue the Next Good War. They will lithely dance to the top of the pile of dead sons, daughters, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandpas and grandmas to proclaim that "more must be done" and "this outrage cannot go unpunished" and "we must sacrifice (fill in the blank) until the crisis has passed". They will use the dead to be elected and re-elected. To bring pork to their home districts, to write books, to make well paid speeches, to be important, to f**k interns, to call for a limiting (temporary of course) of civil rights.
Thanks to a host of government intrusions into the lives of peaceful folk we have been conditioned to being controlled in a variety of ways. We are also a nation of snitches.
The busybodies and nosy nellies will have a new purpose in life and that is uncovering terrorists (Kulaks, middle-peasants, Jews, druggies, child abusers, tax evaders, gun nuts, heathens, homosexuals, uppity blacks, polluters). Everyone is a candidate, everyone a suspect. Purchased fertilizer? Fuel oil?, Black powder? Flying Lessons? Made a discouraging word about this government or its actions? Stay at home a lot? Gone a lot? Pay cash? Use credit cards? Have brown or olive skin? Have an accent? No accent (trying to blend in)? Resent loss of freedoms? Anything can and will trigger these obsequious groveling s**t lickers. Of course the govthugs need them and will reward them for their efforts so that and the natural inclination to spy and pry into peoples affairs will ensure that there will be millions of organic spycams situated throughout the country.
There is no political reason for the war to ever end. With a controlled media and compulsory government schooling, the amount of original information and original thought will be brought to near nil. In time conditions will be accepted.
Over that time through the amount of taxes taken and the continuing loss of liberties will send this nation into a Soviet like spiral. Gray housing, gray food, gray clothes and gray people. The gray people will shuffle from one line to the next hoping to get a piece of old meat or bread, or two shoes of any kind. After a generation of this, mentioning that a free market could bring food and shoes to more people with better quality and lower prices will generate arguments of the sort that attend the issues of schools, roads, and police services now.
"What? Are you kidding? If we let individuals sell shoes only the rich could afford them! In fact, I have a chart that proves my point."
Of course even bringing up the subject will trigger a snitch, so most people will avoid anything controversial. And the cycle of ignorance and acceptance will continue.
TV shows and movies will portray anyone who speaks out about the war or even has some reservations about the goodness of it as dupes and idiots, who at the end will be shown the error of their ways as they are carted off to jail on conspiracy charges. Their last words drowned out by the laugh track.
The demonization of weapons will continue and anyone who wishes to armed who is not a "Proper Authority" will be considered a potential terrorist. After awhile anything sharp, pointy, explosive, or that has projectiles will be shamed out of the hands of the "law abiding".
In fact I envision a scenario such as this to soon be part of a made for TV movie:
Warren Tilson [email@example.com]
I sent a copy of your missive in the TLE to a friend. Herein is her reaction, and my reply to that.
Yes, but: Hindsight is never any excuse to dismiss foresight, and that dismissal is exactly what caused the events of 9/11.
There's an excellent book, appropriately titled: "Dial 911 and die."
This may seem unkind, but 911 was never any excuse to discard any person's responsibility for their own self-defence. The cavalry is never on the scene when the crime happens, as they are an 'after-the-fact', over-the-hill group, who get paid to observe the gristly remains of 'expectation'.
The date, 911 was a wake-up call.
Likely though, not a lot of Americans listened, or even bothered to comprehend it, if they were listening.
It seems that '911' will now have more than one meaning for a very long time. What is revolting is that even with all the evidence that points up to the fact that idiotic laws having absolutely no effect except to actually facilitate what happened, still more laws -- which will have no affect -- will be enacted, further eroding our already diminished liberty.
The original laws were like whipping a dead horse. Well, the new ones will be thrashing the ground where the dead horse once lay. How many times does it take a person doing a thing -- which is not producing a desired effect, to realize that to increase 'the something' will yet again not produce the desired effect?
The answer to that is that those who do things repeatedly which have no effect, are in denial.
In the vernacular of the 1960's, during the Vietnam war, the protesters had a saying: Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity. Vulgar, yes. But, more to the point.
At one time, Marilyn, you could pack a firearm aboard an airplane, and nobody would bat so much as an eyelash -- except the squeamish, and those given excessively to airs, and false pretence.
It was only when the damned 'do-gooders' decided to infringe upon everybody else's rights in the name 'safety', that all hell began to break loose.
Like in 'public' (government) schools, for instance. The parallels here are so confounding and eerie as to warrant closer inspection. I'll wager that the induced trauma in both cases is caused by the very same thing: Stupid 'feel good' laws.
Call Taylor's comments sick -- if you must, but when an entire people is reduced to begging for what they should have been demanding all along, then something is terribly wrong.
People can bleat all they want to about what happened on 911, but ignoring the facts isn't going to accomplish anything -- except more carnage.
If the FAA regs had mandated that the aircrews swallow poison, in order to placate a hijacker, would that regulation have been any more or less heinous than the one which mandates that the aircrew play along? Kill me now, or kill me later?
There is only one effective way to deal with a violent and determined person: Return that violence in full measure. Deny the enemy every recourse, do it with determination, speed, and resolve. When you do that, then all of the others will avoid you like the plague; they'll seek weaker, and less resolved prey. They'll seek out fully disarmed passenger airplanes -- or public schools.
Either you are minded to fight for your life, or you are not. There's something here about being taken to hell in a hand basket. It seems to me that when you easily surrender all of your rights for 'safety', that you are jumping willingly into that basket, and that, my good friend, is precisely what happened on each of those flights. Nobody -- that I am aware -- was forced onto any of those planes. They all boarded with an 'expectation' of certain 'things'. Their expectations were not realized. Taylor might say that they got exactly what they deserved: What they weren't expecting. But more to the point -- what they were thoroughly unprepared for as well. There's a vulgar saying about 'expecting', and I suspect that you know what it is.
Call that exceedingly unkind, call it brutal, call it most heinous, call it anything you want, but the truth cuts both ways.
Ignore the truth at your own hazard.
You simply cannot expect to be safe, period.
When you climb aboard a craft, having surrendered any ability to effectively defend yourself, you -- and nobody else -- has any business complaining when the worst of all possible worlds descends upon you. If you do complain, then you are living the essence of the cult of the victim. Perpetual victims are those people who ensure that the are easy prey for every sort of human vermin; and they invoke every excuse to make everybody else likewise.
Misery loves company.
It's one thing to fall out of the sky because of a mechanical malfunction. It is quite another to allow yourself to be taken hostage. The former you have no control over, the latter you had every control over -- but gave-in to hideous laws. Your choice.
But you can do everything to ensure that you aren't surprised by the 'unexpected'.
I have an old saying: Insurance is a six-shooter; assurance is an empty promise. The first one shoots bullets, the latter fires blanks.
When it comes down to the wire, which are you going rely on: The six-shooter, or some bureaucrat's words (who won't be around when you-know-what hits the fan)?
I can't speak for anyone else, but I do not have a death wish. I refuse to go anywhere that I am disallowed my right of self-defence with an implement that enables me a viable counter-force to attack.
I might not ever have to resort to using it, but then again, my expectations are predicated upon the acts and losses of yet others. Why should I suffer just because they did?
Either you are willing to accept reality, or you can continue to live in a fantasy where someone else is supposed to run to your aid -- supposed to, but never does. Reality bites, and this time, it took a big chunk when it did -- because nobody considered the consequences of willful neglect of individual responsibility for their own 'safety'. Real safety starts with an effective 'Self-defence', not an exclusionary set of laws that remove any ability to act in your own defence.
Self-defence: Live it, or lose it -- and your life right along with it.
If I were you, Marilyn, I wouldn't fly any more airplanes, unless you are afforded the right to pack your own arm. Lacking that, then I think it a fair comment that it is entirely unreasonable to expect that someone else should be responsible for your own safety, because after all, who are you to demand that another person look after you -- or anyone else?
Remember: There's not a single place in this world that's 'safe'. Safety: A frame of mind, not a condition of existence, because you can never be safe. But, you can surely increase the odds of your own survival, and that of others in the process.
911: The unreasonable expectation.
9/11: The result of unreasonable expectations, and the date that the
truth cut both ways.
E.J. Totty [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Dear TLE and Bill,
In TLE#142, Bill Bunn wrote:
I have seen interviews and transcripts of discussions with Bin Laden that, while all done before September and therefore not mentioning this particular attack, make it very clear what and why such an attack would be right up his alley.
One may disagree with his arguments, consider them not worthy of such violence, or even consider pushing the world toward yet another Christian/Muslim war to be purest insanity. However, he has not been silent on his reasoning.
If he did it, in my opinion he had given ample warning. Not fair warning, but ample.
That truck bomb in the WTC basement was what my boxing coach called "telegraphing."
Curt Howland [Howland@Priss.com>/a>]
I just wanted to say that I feel that this is the best issue of your zine I have read. Although I have not been reading it very long, it has helped me to explore my own ideas as well as exposing me to those of others.
I am particularly amused and stimulated by Kevin Crady's article. He has certainly hit the nail on the head. I would be delighted to volunteer to become one of those female commandos, and teach the Afghan woman to fight back against their oppressors. It is appalling to think that a woman who has a postgraduate degree has to starve with her children on the street because she is not allowed to work.
I am also smitten by David M. Brown's musings on foxholes. I have been hearing for years that men in foxholes have the conviction that they must protect any female who happens to be in the foxhole with them, despite the fact that she posseses a firearm and the same training he has. I've always thought that gender distinctions would dissapear under fire, but then what do I know, as a woman I've never been allowed to find out.
I've been asked a number of times why I've never joined the military, by people who thought I'd be good at it. My answer is simplistic, but to the point. I would never be allowed to do any of the "cool stuff". What do I mean by this? Well, I'm a civilian Firefighter/medic, and I've treated people with various types of trauma, including gunshot wounds, stabbings and small explosions. With my experience, one would think I belong in a place where these things are occurring. My greatest fear in terms of joining the military is that I would be stuck in a position where I would be babysitting a bunch of REMFs to make sure they didn't have heart attacks in the middle of planning an offensive.
Even the Letters section had some great stuff in this issue, particularly the one by Bea Smith. I maintain as I always have that the problem in Columbine is not the guns, nor is it really the children who had them, although they were clearly disturbed. It was the politicians who planned a school so much larger then recommended by education experts. A statement on school size and its effect on school safety can be found at:
The politicians mandated a larger school as being more efficent use of money, forgetting that children are a much more important resource.
I also agree with Dennis Kabaczy, that the problem is more the conditioning people have received. 75 little old ladies throwing their purses at the terrorists would have effectively hampered them from achieving their goals. (Have you ever picked up a little old lady's purse? They make great blackjacks) Instead they allowed the terrorists to herd them together and use the vehicle they were in to kill many others, at the same time they died. If you're going to die, why not die doing something worthwhile, like the passengers of Flight 93?
Last, I express my sympathy to Phil Zimmerman for getting misquoted.
Anne Guglik [email@example.com]
One of the interesting things that David Brown says in his essay "On Attacking Nations that Harbor Terrorists" http://webleyweb.com/tle/libe140-20010924-02.html is that governments don't have a defining characteristic that they be non-thuggish. It seems that he feels fine saying that the Taleban may be the government of Afghanistan even though it behaves thuggishly, but has difficulty coping with anyone who identifies the USA government (what I like to call the feral gummint) as thuggish.
His response to calls to identify the USA government as a bunch of thugs unfit to govern a free people is to suggest that the liberty movement marginalize such people. Great. Mr. Brown has drawn a line in the sand. I'm taking up a position where I can blur that line out of existence.
I have no sympathy with mass murderers. A friend of mine perished in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
But, the USS Cole and the Pentagon are legitimate military targets. Attempts to project power into other countries are going to be opposed, and if that opposition reaches out to attack the home base of the USA military, nobody ought to be surprised.
EJ Totty points out, "The US government is a damned bully." While I don't agree with his use of blasphemy, the sense of what he says is inescapable.
It is inescapable to tens of millions of Americans who have direct personal experiences of the bullying nature of the feral gummint. It doesn't matter whether one is an Ivy League educated space enthusiast with a graduate degree in business offering a sweepstakes for Americans to fly in space or a high school dropout Christian fundamentalist with a penchant for guns, the feral gummint has it in for us. It bullies us until it gets its way, jails us if it doesn't, and if we resist arrest, it burns us to death in our churches.
Yet we have twisted fanatics committing mass murder in the name of the USA government, and David Brown doesn't bat an eyelash. He is only concerned about twisted fanatics murdering Americans.
What does one do to a bully to get him to stop? You stand up to him. One may not agree with the methods of those who have chosen to stand up to the USA feral gummint, and still be glad that someone is standing up to the bully.
If nine-tenths of David Brown's job is stating plainly the plain and obvious, when does he plan to state that the USA federal government is out of control, unaccountable to the constitution and the people, murderous, barbarous, and bullying? Or did he miss that part of EJ Totty's message?
Me, personally, I study history. I even have a degree in history. So, I'm not surprised when the USA feral gummint goes to foreign countries and kills thousands of people that people in those countries get outraged and upset enough to take out some American targets. I'm not surprised that people who can read Arabic are clever enough to see a relationship between the USA government and the taxpayers who fund that government. And while I wish such people would limit their attacks to the aforementioned legitimate military targets, I can at least understand their motivations in doing otherwise.
Blood feud, vendetta, or retribution are not moral. They are, however, possible to comprehend. And understanding an enemy is an essential part of defeating him.
The idea that it might be possible for a huge amount of retribution and destruction to encourage Americans to question the terrible foreign policies of the USA feral gummint isn't very good reasoning on the part of EJ Totty. However, the idea that attacks on the USA feral gummint could evoke sympathy in a sane and normal person isn't that hard to believe.
The USA government is thuggish. It is evil. It is out of control. It is not the republic for which the constitution stands. It is unfit to govern a free people. Suggesting that people who are eager to see it harmed or brought down must be crazy and should therefore be marginalized is stupid.
On the one hand, David Brown pooh-poohs what psychologists tell us about where serial criminals come from. Then he asks us to listen to the diatribe of a journalist who has spent time looking at the psyches of serial killers, as if we might be better off with an opinion from a dilettante psycho-babbler rather than a degreed professional psycho-babbler.
Who is morally responsible for the conduct of the USA feral gummint? The bozos who operate that government and act within it, of course. But what about the tens of millions of bozos who voluntarily pay taxes that they don't owe, and advocate the use of force by that government? Are we to suppose them innocent of any of the acts of that government? If one were to pay a hit man to kill someone, who is the responsible party? The hit man or the one who hires him? The correct answer is "both of the above."
The part I don't get about David Brown's ranting is why he feels he should be entitled to put words in the mouth of EJ Totty only to burn this straw man of an argument? EJ Totty never wrote, "no small part of me is cheering what this guy did to your daughter, inasmuch as your daughter was successful and effective and making her way in the world and this killer was a foiled, frustrated loser whose only means of being somebody was to destroy, which he did in fact achieve here, give him credit for that much at least."
It is easy to criticize what Totty actually said. Why bother with making up words to put in quotes as if Totty said them? Isn't that sort of fraud a pointless exercise in reductio ad absurdum? Of course one would flip the bird at anyone who said such a thing. But EJ Totty didn't.
What EJ Totty did write is, "A bit more than a small part of me is cheering him on, because i[f] he can manage to drain the military resources of this fascist/communist/pretorian government of ours to the point that no American wants to get involved anymore -- because their sons and daughters are dying by the hundreds of thousands in some creator forsaken place, as well as at home as in somebody else's land -- then he will have achieved a Libertarian goal: Getting us to mind our own bloody damned business, and telling the whore of commerce to peddle her wares elsewhere."
While I don't agree that commerce, in the sense of free market economics, has any role in this matter or any blame in these events, I do agree that there are problems with what Totty identifies as that whore: oil companies, banks, and other businesses which insist that they cannot operate successfully without using the force of government against their customers and competitors. That isn't commerce so much as government colluding with would-be oligopolists.
There is nothing to condone or excuse about the vicious mass murder of thousands of innocent people, whether those thousands are killed by the USA feral gummint over a period of a few weeks, or killed by some maniacs at the controls of two airliners on one day. But, it isn't acceptable to David Brown that anyone criticize the USA government. Or is it? David Brown doesn't say that he is unwilling to hear criticism of the USA government, I'm just putting those words into his mouth so he can get a sense of what it is like to have a straw man argument assigned to him, and then burned.
Who, then, is a self-confessed friend of mass murderers? EJ Totty? EJ Totty doesn't claim to be a friend of Osama bin Laden. He admits to a very limited sort of admiration that someone is standing up to a bully, however much he dislikes the way that person is doing it.
Perhaps the reason David Brown wants to believe that EJ Totty is confessing to friendship with a mass murderer is due to another sort of psychological phenomenon called projecting. David Brown is projecting onto EJ Totty this friendship with mass murderers, because David Brown has overwhelming feelings of guilt about his own friendship toward the USA feral gummint. Rather than admitting to his own complicity (and taxpaying ways?) with the brutality of the USA feral gummint, he projects those feelings of guilt and betrayal onto EJ Totty, and makes up words for Totty to be guilty of saying. A curious way to behave.
The anonymous journalist (perhaps an alter-ego of David Brown?) writes: "The letter writer's crazy, emotional attack on American government and society really drives home to me just how much hatred can be found within 'our' ideological camp. It's a hatred so disproportionate to its alleged source that you can only conclude that the libertarian movement harbors a number of utterly alienated people, seething with personal frustrations, humiliations, ineffectuality, and anger, and looking outward for some convenient scapegoat to blame for their misery."
Of course. You would never want to conclude that the American government is responsible for hateful acts, has actually, for instance, burned seven dozen Texans in a church, has actually, for example, brutalized tens of millions of adults for violating unconstitutional laws, or has, actually, used chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons on USA soil to the detriment of those living here. One would never want to suppose that the hatred of the USA feral gummint that is found in the liberty movement was, in fact, proportional to the actions of that so-called American government. Because, then, instead of thinking that these are just the rantings of the lunatic fringe, the seething anger of a few folks on the margins who can be further alienated by calls to marginalize them, why, one would have to suppose that the USA feral gummint is on its last legs, about to be destroyed by the vast majority of Americans who are sick and tired of being screwed over by their own government.
That anonymous source goes on to say: "Their hatred of the American government -- their feeling of being oppressed in this, the freest country on earth -- is obviously not political or philosophical in origin."
How could it be? Could it be political or philosophical in origin if that hatred were motivated by being falsely accused of crimes, being made to suffer arrest, strip searching, confiscation of property, illegal searches, illegal seizures, rat infested and sewage strewn jail cells overcrowded with victims of a demented government, or even death by government? Or are we to dismiss any objection to the behavior of the USA feral gummint simply on the basis that this country is "the freest...on earth" whether that in fact represents a farce of tremendous proportions? And if the USA is the most free country on Earth, why shouldn't we object to being oppressed here? Liberty begins at home.
Extending on the ability Brown demonstrates in putting words in other mouths, the anonymous source claims, "Their sympathies are not just with bin Laden, allegedly about U. S. foreign policy; they also lie with domestic terrorists such as the militia movement or even Timothy McVeigh." I didn't see those words in EJ Totty's letter, either.
Pardon me, Dave. What's wrong with the militia movement? And why is Timothy McVeigh identified with it? The militia movement is about the unorganized militia, a body provided for in federal statute, keeping itself trained and in communication so that we can be effective. And what is it that a well-regulated militia is necessary for? Why, for the security of a free state. Which involves defending freedom from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Which would be a whole lot easier if the USA feral gummint which you seem to think has never oppressed anyone would adhere to the Bill of Rights which, among other things, says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, even if individual members of the militia are flying on commercial airliners. If it had done so, then those civilian members of the militia on the airliners might have prevented the tragedy at the World Trade Center. Thus, the Federal Aviation Administration is just as guilty of mass murder on 11 September 2001 as eighteen jerks with box-cutters who were opposed by passengers with plastic runcible spoons. Disarming victims is a USA feral gummint policy. It oppresses us. It pisses us off. That's not insane, it is a normal reaction to brutality.
David Brown agrees: "It's an across-the-board 'sympathy for the devil,' psychological in its origins: an emotional kinship with figures who seem to mirror their own rage, and who appear to be lashing out potently against a society in which they feel impotent, and from which they therefore feel totally alienated. I read their sympathy for the terrorists as their confession that they simply can't find a way to fit into American culture -- that they simply can't cut it here, at least not emotionally or socially."
So, if one is against the USA federal government that David Brown knows and loves so well, if one is opposed to its oppressions, its usurpations, and its disgusting behavior, one is a misfit. And misfits should be marginalized from the very freedom movement we've done so much to create.
"This isn't to say that some of these people can't function okay within the economic system; many do."
Indeed we do. Many of us make a great deal of money and use legitimate means to avoid paying taxes to the maximum extent possible. Many of us use offshore jurisdictions and our keen knowledge of information technology to make great sums of money. Which must make guys like David Brown jealous, or something.
"These misfits seem to be examples of my observation that 'problems loom large when men don't.' In this case, the U. S. (their environment) becomes to them the huge symbolic barrier to their happiness -- 'the Great Satan' (a view they share viscerally with the terrorists) -- a big, overwhelming, threatening source of anxiety and frustration. But that's not because this view is objectively valid:"
Why, how could it be objectively valid? For it to be objectively valid, one would have to have overwhelming objective evidence, great huge piles of dead bodies. Egregious examples of the violation of individual liberty. Dead people in the MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia and in the Branch Davidian church at Mt. Carmel obviously don't count, since they are the wrong color and the wrong religion by turns. Dead people in Ruby Ridge, Idaho don't matter, because they are social misfits that David Brown seeks to marginalize. Thousands of dead in Mogadishu are both the wrong color and wrong religion, they are foreigners (how dare they criticize the USA!) and they dared to defend their homes with rocket propelled grenades and other effective tools. How about Donald Scott? He's a nice millionaire Californian, and quite dead at the hands of the feral gummint, not a misfit at all. How about those 6,000+ dead at the World Trade Center thanks to the FAA disarming the victims of terror? How many dead bodies does it take to have an objectively valid case against the USA feral gummint?
"it's because they feel so small, insignificant, ineffectual, and humiliated. And they find solace in the belief that it isn't their fault, but the fault of the society around them that's somehow oppressing their aspirations and happiness."
No, stupid. It's because we are so maddened by would-be libertarians who aren't willing to criticize the source of oppression we see oppressing ourselves and our brethren on a daily basis. It's because we are sick of the gung ho fools who think that idealizing the federal government is the same thing as being patriotic, who mouth jingoistic slogans in time with the talking heads on television, and enthuse about the death of strangers defending their homes in Mogadishu or Kabul.
"I think this is the psychology of nihilism -- as Eric Hoffer described so well in The True Believer, and as I discovered it in my studies of criminal psychology, the psychology of sociopaths."
No. It isn't the psychology of nihilism that causes people to realistically examine the behavior of the USA feral gummint and label it evil. It is the psychology of realism. It is normal and healthy to identify a bully, look at the mounds of objective evidence that the bully is also a killer, and be eager to see that bully brought low.
"Now that these misfits are revealing themselves as socially marginalized, the Objectivist and libertarian movements would do well to marginalize them, as well."
Would they? Would there even be an Objectivist or a libertarian movement if there weren't so many of us social misfits who had been so thoroughly brutalized by government? Ayn Rand is hardly the sort of paragon of normality who embraced fitting in and enjoyed fame as a socialite one would fail to describe as a misfit. Misfits of the world are excellent. Frat boys and sorority girls who work so hard to fit in are rarely responsible for much innovation. What made Ayn Rand oppose government so thoroughly? It was her direct and personal experiences of government in Soviet Russia and in New York.
It is often said that a libertarian is made by arresting a Democrat or a Republican. It is the direct experience of government that makes people hate government.
David Brown requests: "If there is a more plausible alternative hypothesis, bring it on."
Here's my alternative, Dave. You're an idiot. You put words in other people's mouths. You are gung ho about the USA government because you like being on what you see as the winning side. You are upset about the attack on the Pentagon because you see it as an attack on your friends in government. You object to anyone expressing an opinion that opposes the USA feral gummint because you love the brutality and oppression that group, unfit to govern a free people, metes out against those you deem to be social misfits. And, you're jealous that people who revile the USA feral gummint are able to make a lot more money than you, and keep it out of the hands of tax collectors using legal means. You are unable to see the overwhelming evidence of the oppressions and brutalities and murders of the USA feral gummint because you are living in a delusional paradise. There is a madman involved in the David Brown vs. EJ Totty dialog, perhaps two. At least one of them is David Brown.
David concludes: "What I do know is that the author of that letter is one sick mass-murderer-befriending f**k; and that it is not only inadvisable but stupid to collaborate with, or argue with, or have anything whatever to do with same."
Curious. I don't agree with EJ Totty, but I don't have to put words into his mouth to understand him well enough to disagree with him. It is clear that Dave doesn't want to argue with him, since he argues only with words he put into Totty's mouth.
As for stupidity in collaborating with the likes of Totty, I think that is one of the most bigoted and foolish statements made by a libertarian, lately. It is important for those of us who are determined to win in our fight against the brutality of government to find fellow travelers and work with them. We are strong enough to win, if we don't divide ourselves into camps and destroy our chances of victory. We are powerful enough, but only if we don't snipe at each other.
Liberty includes a bunch of idiots saying stupid things. So, while I'm not in agreement with either David Brown or EJ Totty, I'm eager to see them working for the cause of liberty. While I'm not willing to agree with their foolish ideas, I'm happy that they have a forum like The Libertarian Enterprise in which to express them. Though I find much of what each of them says to be naive, I am eager to engage in dialog, discussion, argument, or criticism, in the expectation that we may be able to improve the knowledge held by each of us, encourage discernment of useful approaches, and enhance our ability to succeed by working together.
I'm frankly sick and tired of libertarians and anarchists insisting upon marginalizing each other, insisting on sniping at each other, and blathering on about ideological purity, when there are real problems in government to address, when there are real people dying as a result of government actions and inaction, and when we have the tools to address those problems. The liberty movement is not made worse by the presence of fools like EJ Totty and idiots like David Brown, it is made better by them.
Criticism is essential to the growth of knowledge. Which is why people send letters to the editor to John Taylor.
Quote [David M. Brown]:
I find it amazing that an inveterate Republican is using mental masturbation in seeking to steer the grass roots of what makes Libertarians just that, into something else, like for instance fawning bootlicks of the extreme right. He uses not only inflammatory rhetoric, but neglects to even consider that economy of thought is more consumed than a rambling, repetitive, and dare I say, asinine attempt at reproof?
All one has to do is review the comments by Brown in the Freeman: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/rad/PubRadReviews/freeman.html
The first thing one does -- to effectively disable a group of people, is to deconstruct not only its philosophy, but also to denounce its progenitors.
Go read Brown's words for yourself. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Mealy mouthed is a good word for what is attempted.
Libertarians, as a lot, pretty much mind their own business, and expect that others will do so as well. But, here we have in our midst, a wolf in dog's clothing. He invites us into a conflagration of reactionary warmongering, that looks for all the world as some kind of jingoistic pablum, intended for consumption by the 'masses'.
I can say in one concise paragraph, what he takes several pages to express.
That, however, in no way makes me better. What does make me head and shoulders above him is that I can observe the truth dispassionately, and consider all the consequences of an act -- long before the act is history.
But then, history has always been a weak point for most GOP members. Forget the past, beat the drums of the present and rob the future of the children.
Come to think of it, that sounds pretty much like the Democrats also. Oh well, two parties, one system of screwing the people. Seems to me that beating drums to invite the people to their deaths is what Brown is about.
Make no attempt to understand anything, just run to you death at the behest of the likes of Brown.
He won't be around to die, neither will his handlers.
But, you can be sure that a lot of kids in their late teens will be spilling their own blood for some esoteric fallacy, all in the name of revenge. Revenge, I might add, that was long ago instigated by the R's and the D's, in the name of the Whore of Commerce, and for a few extra bucks to finance some lame brain in office.
That said, allow me this: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!
Vile language bespeaks the weak mind, especially when that mind is so unsure of its intellectual holdings, that it must resort base and infantile tantrums expressed as so much wandering prate.
If you must swear at me, please do so with just a bit more style, verve, and finesse.
E.J. Totty [firstname.lastname@example.org]
David Brown was not content to simply disagree with E.J. Totty. Hey, that might not be sufficient to discredit him - who knows, someone might disagree with Mr. Brown. So, he fell back to the technique that was so very popular in the Soviet Union - "if they disagree, they are obviously crazy". People who are sane and who have "common sense" obviously would agree with Mr. Brown. Anyone else would just have to have psychological problems, right?
I'll admit that I was mildly offended to read Totty's comment "part of me is cheering [bin Laden] on". But in a free society, we are allowed to disagree. He was speaking his true opinion, one that might be offensive.
The rest of his argument is dead on - imagine that the roles were reversed - the US weak and some strong country was bombing it indiscriminately. Imagine your own child dying from their embargoes or bombs dropped from 30,000 feet. Or your parents. Or your wife. Would you not want to revenge that? War would not be an option since your country would be too weak to even attempt it. Certainly we would be growing freedom fighters who would be happy to strike back at the offending nation.
I shouldn't even have to insert a disclaimer here - but I will anyway: None of the foregoing is meant to say or imply that the attacks were justified or moral or that we deserved them.
Their actions were despicable murder. But if we accept the principle of non-initiation of force, we should consider the possibility that these people, in their despair at ever stopping the US through diplomatic means, believe that they are responding in self-defense to the initiation of force by the US.
Mr. Brown, please forward this to your psychological "expert" so that he can also pronounce me - "[an] outsider[s], alienated and isolated and hostile" and "flagrantly irrational"...
This "expert" - a journalist? Please spare me such nonsense.
And TLE: This is an attempt at collectivist groupthink indoctrination. I'm getting enough of that from the regular media outlets, I don't expect it from TLE. Mr. Brown is entitled to his opinions of course, but I'm uncomfortable with his language of the purge - "not only inadvisable but stupid to collaborate with, or argue with, or have anything to do with [Totty]". In other words, make him a non-person. It seems I've heard that language before - from communists both in and out of power.
Tom Biggs [email@example.com]
I feel the government is not treating this Anthrax problem with enough respect. Did not the rollers in the bank machines spread drug residue on all of our money? What is to keep the rollers in the postal machines from spreading anthrax? Can the postal network spread anthrax? Shouldn’t all mail be suspect? The people should know!
Well, where do you want to start? The war that seemed so likely is commenced. Various Hollywood straplines and adjectives are applied to the start of the bombing campaign by the media. You know, like, 'America Strikes Back' (CNN). And almost without effort the holes, discrepancies and ridiculous geo-political non-starters are presented as fact. To some at any rate.
For a start the 'humanitarian' side of the operation is emphasised over and over again. Loyal party stalwarts from the media brush their free market epaulettes and repeat the news they know will keep them their job. Voices may be heard, questions may be asked, but the 'war' is still a 'war'. The 'terror' is still 'terror'. The difficult questions are ignored.
So let us take the 'humanitarian' effort. The BBC said that "wave after wave" of planes attacked various targets around Afghanistan. General Richard Myers in a press conference shown live on CNN and BBC went on to be questioned by some sceptical journalists. Myers is the serving head soldier of the US military, current spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He admitted that 37,500 rations were being dropped. It was not all food. Some was medicine. He then went on to admit that the drop method was "pretty similar" to the drop methods used in Bosnia. You remember, the ones that killed people.
The reasons they kill is because they are dropped without parachutes. Great big crates fall from the sky. You might remember the Bosnian pictures. But one change has happened, the planes dropping the rations are now to fly at "high altitude." One journalist asked how anyone would find the rations and whether or not they would be destroyed on impact. Myers replied by taking another question. Of the "wave after wave" of planes two were set aside for 'humanitarian' purposes, two C-17 transporters who made one trip each.
Major Bob Stewart, former commander of the UK forces in Bosnia, called the drops "only a token effort" (BBC News 24) although he supported them. James Rubin ("Tibet is part of China, that's settled, Tibet is part of China," BBC Radio 5 Live) the former Whitehouse spokesman and assistant secretary of state under Clinton didn't agree. He called it "a massive humanitarian effort" (CNN).
But the BBCs Adam Mynott on the ground at the Afghan border had a slightly different tale. "There are hunger related deaths already happening here," he said before he and presenter Chris Lowe went on to admit that the 'humanitarian effort' was only "symbolic" and that indeed "the drops may fall in pretty remote areas" (Mynott) or that Afghans would be unlikely to go near any drops they may see out of fear that "the drops could be bombs," (Lowe). Mynott then had a rush of honesty pointing out that the drops are "targeted at the outside world." And he didn't mean the high altitude crates.
Perhaps the most humanitarian effort the 'allies' could now make is to open the borders and let the fleeing, starving, dying, ebola-infected people out of the war zone and into care. But maybe that is just a bit too 'humanitarian.'
CNN as you would expect were not in a mood to question anything. What do you think they are, journalists? One guest Robert Sobhani, a Professor from Georgetown university was exultant. "We have to get out there and dehumanise Bin Laden." As if he hasn't done a good enough job himself. "We have to get them (muslims) burning the effigies of him. We need to dehumanise that guy."
But the dehumanising has been done. We see the first sight of smart bombing but we know that B-52s are being flown from Diego Garcia. B-52s are carpet bombers. General Myers tried to miss questions on the use of B-52s but he did end up having to admit their use. "We try to match ordinance with targets." B-52s also carry a huge tonnage of bombs, far bigger than the B2 stealth bombers. We have yet to hear any concrete statistics on the tonnage of bombs dropped by B-52s. In the Gulf War so-called 'smart' bombing was 9% of the total tonnage (Pentagon). The perversity of the fact that these aircraft are leaving from Diego Garcia, a country ethnically cleansed of its entire population by the British Labour Party and secret services in the 1960s, has also gone unmentioned.
BBC Radio 5 Live also lapsed into subtle discrimnation. One guest (whose name I failed to get) did not accept that a civilian life lost in the WTC attacks was the same as a civilian Afghan. Because the WTC attacks were "terror" and the bombing of Afghanistan "is a strategic attack."
Once again the media is trying to give a shadow show of debate. To try and pretend that ordinary people's concerns (What are the aims? When does it end? Where is the evidence? Will we make it worse?) are being voiced. But in the end the strapline remains, "America Strikes Back". And there ain't no truths enough to stop them.
While researching what I need to do to acquire a carry permit in FL I was shocked beyond words to see the following:
I disagree with the state on prohibiting certain classes of people from carrying. (Except possibly violent psychotics) Self-defense is a God given right that man cannot infringe upon. This is also my interpretation of the second amendment. To be intellectually consistent you would also have to start issuing steak knife permits to all non-felons and denying them to felons. So on and so on down this slippery slope.
Besides a violent person will ignore the law or just use another type of weapon if denied a carry permit. The lawmakers are only blowing smoke so that they can say to the electorate that they did something, no matter how ineffectual or illogical that it may be. If you deny felons the right to self-defense you then give government the incentive to make everything a felony. I could do the research but I think you are well aware of the breadth of actions that are deemed felonies.
This is not the reason I am writing. I had a marijuana possession conviction 20 years ago and DUI 7 years ago; I am also treated for depression on occasion. (I wish now that I had never sought medical treatment) I have not yet applied but it seems as if the state could block my permit. I happen to live in a fairly unsafe area if I walk far at night there could be serious repercussions to me or to my wife. During civil unrest this area would more than likely be where the riots would be in Fort Myers FL.
I can barely afford the $200 needed to buy my second amendment rights in this state and if denied they just keep the money. I find it hard to believe that there are no constitutional challenges to this fascist-draconian law. I am married and really can't afford the consequences of civil disobedience either, although I fully support the morality of someone to use force including deadly force to protect their RIGHT to carry without government approval.
It seems like I am in quite a quandary. None of the options seem acceptable. This is another topic but I do think that this fascism will start a wave of internal American Terrorism. Isn't it merely a matter of your point of view? A smaller weaker force must use unconventional tactics when up against a much more powerful adversary. Israel was in this position at one time and because they won they got to write the history books. If they had lost and the British wrote the history I am sure that they would be cast in the same light as some modern day terrorist.
Back to my quandary. ... So I ask help in finding someone that would be interested in pursuing a constitutional challenge if I am denied my permit. It seems crazy but the only viable response in our "civil" society seems to be violence, which I am not even legally allowed to discuss because of restrictions on my First amendment rights. (i.e. Speaking of violent overthrow of the government is a crime.) Never mind that the founding fathers in the Declaration are the ones that told us that violent overthrow of the government was needed and justified in desperate times.
God Bless and I hope to hear from you.