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172



[Get Opera!]

THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 172, May 6, 2002
HIGH-RISK CARGO


[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]


Letter from Bill Bunn

Letter from Charles Curley

Letter from Mary Bigger

Letters from Bill Bunn and William Westmiller

Letter from W. James Antle

Letter from Dennis Kabaczy

Letter from John Pate

Letter from Dave Maharaj

Letter from Lionell Griffith

Letter from Mark A. Laughlin

Letter from Rob Latham

Letter from Carl Bussjaeger


Michael W. Gallagher wrote:

"The second most-common right-wing argument in the issue of abortion is that the Court had no right to strike down the decisions of the states to ban abortion. This is a sort of modified "states rights" theory."

Agreed.

"However, if you follow the logic of this theory, it basically holds that, while the powers of the federal government are limited, it is perfectly permissible for the states to establish 50 little dictatorships, and deprive people of life, liberty, property and privacy at whim."

Not at all. The 14 amendment is generally read to protect our rights against the tyranny of the states, insofar as those rights are clearly stated in the constitution. The result, that abortion should be left to the states, depends on failing to find in the constitution a "right to privacy" that is susceptible to judicial delineation.

(As I wrote in my letter published in the same letters column, but a just two short letters before Mr Gallagher's letter:) The "penumbra" is a good libertarian idea, which ought to be respected by our legislative and executive branches, but inviting the courts to delineate that "penumbra" invites an expansive and activist role for the court, a role for which it is ill-suited, and which has, I think, proven to be ill-advised.

Bill Bunn [billbunn@free-market.net]


Thank you, Renata, for bringing up Vic's "Solomon's Knife" in the interminable abortion "debate" in TLE. I was just about to do so myself. You have no doubt saved me from using some intemperate language ("ignoramus" and "buffoon" come to mind) in doing so.

"Solomon's Knife" is one of those books, like Wendy McElroy's "XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography", which completely turns an issue on its head, and one cannot speak to the issue under discussion until one has read it.

Charles Curley [ccurley@trib.com]


You know, I was about to unsubscribe from this newsletter untill I finally got to articles 7 and 8. I am getting sick and tired of all the arguing back and forth about abortion and homos. It seems like much ado about nothing to argue such points while the house is burning down.

Mary Bigger [mbigger@voy.net]


William Westmiller wrote:

"... precedent must begin somewhere and the Supreme Court is obliged to resolve contradictory laws that bear on the individual rights of citizens. ..."

Agreed.

"In the Roe case, it found a host of conflicting state laws ..."

Or certainly differing state laws. But what could the tenth amendment possibly mean by "reserved to the states", if the states are not to have differing laws? Are the states to be reduced to administrative districts of the national government? Surely Mr. Westmiller did not mean this?

Or do these differing state abortion laws produce some actual conflicts -- conflicts which are not obvious to me, and which Mr Westmiller doesn't appear to have clearly pointed out -- conflicts which must then be resolved by the supreme court? And more particularly, which other state's conflicting law actually applied in the R v W case, and made it necessary to override Texas's law?

Or have I simply misunderstood Mr Westmiller's argument?

Bill Bunn [billbunn@free-market.net]

* * *

Bill Bunn asks

"what could the tenth amendment possibly mean by "reserved to the states", if the states are not to have differing laws?"

It isn't merely differing laws, but -- as I pointed out and you agreed -- differences that bear on basic individual rights. I didn't attempt to itemize all the critical variations, which are well documented in the text of the ruling.

William Westmiller [Westmiller@aol.com]

* * *

"It isn't merely differing laws, but -- as I pointed out and you agreed -- differences that bear on basic individual rights."

I agreed that conflicts in the applicable laws need to be resolved by the courts (in some cases the supreme court). But not that the differences from state to state constituted conflicts (since generally only the laws of one state will apply to any given case). Nor that abortion laws bear on constitutionally-recognized rights.

"I didn't attempt to itemize all the critical variations, which are well documented in the text of the ruling."

OK. I read the text of the ruling. I did see some mention of differences, in its recitation of the history of abortion law, but I failed to see where the ruling dwelled on the differences, nor that it asserted those differences as a reason for its ruling. Nor is it apparent how the differences have any legal consequences for the case. If the Texas law were not violative of constitutionally-protected rights, how can differences from other states make it violative? And if the Texas law were violative, how would it be saved if all 49 other states had precisely the same law?

Bill Bunn [billbunn@free-market.net]


In my rebuttal that ran in TLE #171, I meant to write: "The abortion debate is ultimately separate from the debate over whether federal courts are allowed to strike down any law based more on political opinions than the actual Constitution." I ended up actually asking if federal courts are allowed to strike down any federal law, which doesn't totally change my meaning, but is relevant in this context.

W. James Antle [Jimantle@aol.com]


In TLE #171 L. Neil Smith and Bill Bunn debate the non-aggression principle, "collateral damage"and how they relate to hostages. This debate is not dissimilar to the "risk vs. benefits" decisions that occur on a daily basis with medical practitioners and their patients.

When I prescribe an antibiotic for strep throat, there is a risk the patient will die from a severe allergic reaction. If I don't prescribe the antibiotic, there is a risk of long term disability and death due to the infection and its sequelae. The benefit is, with proper treatment, the patient feels better faster, and shouldn't get the kidney and heart damage that could otherwise result. Shoot at the hostage taker, there is a risk of killing the hostage. The benefit is the hostage regains his or her freedom, and there won't be any more hostages taken by that particular bad guy.

In the case of the antibiotics, we are not intending harm to the patient. In the case of the hostage, we are not intending harm to the hostage. There is no quandary, only risk, and the decision of whether or not the risk is worth the benefit.

Dennis Kabaczy PA-C [dkabaczy265428MI@comcast.net]
Canton, MI


re: killing UN soldiers

In fact, as has been remarked apropos the Israel/Palestine conflict by various commentators, thanks to the Nuremberg Protocols it's an established principle of International Law that civilians are fully entitled in killing soldiers of (or by extension their agents) an occupying army on the soil of their own country. Of course, the grey area is when those soldiers have been invited by "your" Government to help out with "internal security". This is made even more murky by the fact that it seems that "peacekeeping forces" invariably go in under an exemption from prosecution by local law.

As an old-school bomb-chucking anarchist, I've come to the conclusion that the only way forward is that anyone in a uniform (except for when in protective clothing for hazardous work or for purely ceremonial or entertainment purposes) automatically has a "kill me" sign pinned on their back. If you need stewards to help the socially confused at your boondogle, they can wear flourescent armbands and be very polite. "Zero tolerance" is the fashion nowadays after all.

John Pate [johnny@dvc.org.uk]


Dear Mr. Taylor

A Montreal dry cleaner, Pieros Karidogiannis, has been ordered to take French lessons or hire a French-speaking employee after a customer complained to Quebec's language police (yes, that's correct people, language police).

Citing Sections 2 and 5 of the Charter of the French Language, the language officer from the office of Quebec's Commission de Protection de la Langue Francaise notified Mr. Karidogiannis that he has a deadline of May 3, by which time he would have to inform the province as to how he would comply.

The penalty for not obeying this law includes seizure of assets and auctioning it off to pay fines.

- - -
Source:
"Dry Cleaner takes on Quebec Language Police"
Diane Francis
National Post
April 25/02, p.A5

Dave Maharaj [cougar@echo-on.net]


re: The Bill of Intellectual Rights

"Never purposely embarrass anyone. Brute reason is as inexcusable as brute force."

"Brute reason" is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. As near as I can tell, the author of "The Bill of Intellectual Rights" is implying that superior reasoning is as inexcusable as brute force. Meaning that it is not permitted to be too right, too effective, or too persuasive. At least not more so than your opponent. It implies she would be embarrassed by the fact that someone presents superior reasoning to her rather than learning from the experience. Further, it implies that one must make at least as much error in reasoning as your opponent. On second thought, she should be embarrassed if that is her attitude. It is a shameful position on the part of someone who presents herself to as a public commentator. Especially one who pontificates on what is "proper" and "improper" intellectual behavior.

" Give the other person time to consider your points: don't badger them. Your purpose is not to punish someone but to persuade."

But is this not an instance of "brute reason"? Is this not too right, too effective, and too persuasive? The first rule requires one to make error especially if your opponent makes the same error.

"When someone has conceded a point, move on. Do not keep hammering away simply for the satisfaction of being correct over and over again."

But is this not an instance of "brute reason"? Is this not too right, too effective, and too persuasive? The first rule requires one to make error especially if your opponent makes the same error. (I am hammering away at this point so as to not be exercising "brute reason")

"Freely acknowledge errors. "Sticking to your guns" makes your error the center of attention and is likely to cast doubt on every other claim you've made."

But is this not an instance of "brute reason"? Is this not too right, too effective, and too persuasive? The first rule requires one to make error especially if your opponent makes the same error. (I am hammering away at this point so as to not be exercising "brute reason")

"When you are uncertain, say so. Saying "I don't know" is a sign of intellectual honesty and self-confidence, not weakness."

But is this not an instance of "brute reason"? Is this not too right, too effective, and too persuasive? The first rule requires one to make error especially if your opponent makes the same error. (I am hammering away at this point so as to not be exercising "brute reason")

"Acknowledge good points made by your "opponent." Such courtesy within arguments is so rare that you will acquire a reputation for fairness based on this habit alone."

But is this not an instance of "brute reason"? Is this not too right, too effective, and too persuasive? The first rule requires one to make error especially if your opponent makes the same error. (I am hammering away at this point so as to not be exercising "brute reason"

Also, I fail to acknowledge article's good points for the same reason. After all, I would not want to embarass the author and engender resentment simply because I failed to make sufficient error)

"Don't argue to display your own cleverness. This is as offensive to most people as an ostentatious display of wealth that usually causes resentment, not admiration."

The author presumes offense and resentment taken by someone else is something that one must not engender. Well, she has greatly offended me by saying that I must modify my behavior simply because someone else is offended. I resent the implications. Unfortunatly, that is an argument from weakness. The offence and resentment resides within. It is an internal response to words. By making the speaker responsible for your reaction, you abandon responsibility for yourself. That is exactly what the so called politically correct feminists are doing. They attempt to make others responsible for their feelings and thereby deny self responsibility.

The author has totally bought into the substance of the agenda of the politically correct feminists. Except she no longer limits it to between the sexes, she apply it to all relationships.

She also compound the intelectual crime by holding that admiration from others is more important than being right and as error free as possible.

Lionell Griffith [Lionell.Griffith@Verizon.net]


Christopher Lee's article on homosexuality [TLE 171] is a valid application of the non-aggression principle. However, he appears to package deal those who regard homosexuality as a psychological illness with those who seek to use force to wipe it out.

So while, I harbor no desire to place the fags up against the wall, I do try to limit my personal exposure to their psychological state...in much the same way that I try to limit placing myself in the path of the religionist's self-destructive irrationalism, or the Marxist's materialistic envy. I shun homosexuals, mystics and Marxists, not to compel them to change, but rather to limit my exposure to their unhealthy lifestyle.

For example, if a homosexual Marxist priest were to nationalize the local sewage treatment plant and the spend his days of self-abnegation bowing at the raw sewage pond's edge dipping his hands into the filth and anoiting his own face, I should like to keep my distance from such a person. For such a person is capable of nationalizing my property, capable of hearing the voice of god tell him to murder my family, while being a terrible disease vector as well.

Mark A. Laughlin [eoffshore@aaahawk.com]


Dear John:

The Independent Institute has posted the highlights from its recent program with Gore Vidal, "Understanding America's Terrorist Crisis: What Should Be Done?" online at: www.independent.org/tii/forums/020418ipf2.html.

The program also featured Lewis Lapham (editor, Harper's Magazine) and a panel of distinguished scholars, Barton Bernstein (Stanford University), Robert Higgs (The Independent Institute), and Thomas Gale Moore (Hoover Institution).

For your review, please find below a media advisory announcing the online availability of the highlights of this program.

In addition, here are links to two commentaries written in conjunction with the program:

Please advise me with any questions.

Best regards,

Rob Latham [rlatham@independent.org]
Public Affairs Director, The Independent Institute


Hi John,

I wonder if I could interest you in running this announcement of the winners of the Sixth Annual Liberty Round Table Freedom Essay Contest in TLE?

Thanks,
Carl

The Sixth Annual Liberty Round Table Essay Contest is completed, and we've determined this year's winners. This year we offered individual prizes as high as $1,000, a KeepAndBearArms.com life membership, tuition certificates to the Freedom Mountain Academy, and a subscription to the Voluntaryist.

Here's the rankings, by age bracket:

0-13

  • 1. Amanda Embree, Guns: A Wrong or Our Right?
  • 2. NOTA
  • 3. Brittany Winslow, untitled
  • 4. NOTA
  • HM. Ethan Embree, The Right To Bear Arms


14-16

  • 1. Justyn Jones, My Generation
  • 2. Emily Sugrue, The Real Question is, "Why?"
  • 3. Samantha Stead, Restrained
  • 4. Ashley Webb, When Should One Be Considered An Adult?
  • HM. Kevin Rae, Waco, the Disaster


17-18

  • 1. Sarah Smallcomb, They Think That They Own Us!
  • 2. Laura Cray, Freedom of Choice
  • 3. Ian McCollum, untitled
  • 4. Karoline Will, At Cost of Three Fingers
  • HM. Crystal Miniard, Mass Murder in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave"


19-21

  • 1. Oskari Juurikkala, How to Fight Against the State
  • 2. Mike Tront, Refuse to Vote
  • 3. Matt Warner, Creed
  • 4. Brian Drake, untitled
  • HM. Daniel R. Freeborn, The New Tyranny

RKBA (KABA Life Membership): Amanda Embree, Guns: A Wrong or Our Right?

Hobbyt Kudos (Humor): NOTA

Damascus Award: Samantha Stead, Restrained

DLT Kudos: To Be Announced

You can read the winning essays, and see the the complete list of prizes awarded, at the Liberty Round Table website:
www.libertyroundtable.org/essaycontest/index.html

We have not yet announced the beginning of the 7th annual contest; we are still working out details.

Carl Bussjaeger [bussjaeger@free-market.net]


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