L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 245, November 2, 2003
Daniel Conan Weiner, R.I.P.
Exclusive to TLE
Daniel Conan Weiner, longtime political activist and lately the editor of the Libertarian Webzine "The Libertarian Enterprise", died Wednesday morning, October 29, 2003 after a long battle with cancer.
I didn't know Dan long, nor well, nor intimately. I never met him face to face, nor even talked to him on the phone. I have no words to describe the details of his life, nor the pain and sorrow his family and friends now feel at his loss.
Nevertheless, from hundreds of miles to the south and without ever having met me, Dan touched my life.
For me, Dan was a white voice in a black void: thoughtful, often provocative words that spoke to me from the depths of cyberspace. He spoke of freedom, life, and making choices that initiated force against none. He was an important, irreplaceable comrade-in-arms in the never-ending struggle for freedom against those who wish to strip all human beings of their rights.
After all, how many gun-toting, libertarian, gay Texans are there in the world?
You can ask anyone: I'm not a religious man. I'm not even a very spiritual man. I have some notions of spirituality, based on some rather concrete experiences as a young man. However, I long ago made peace with any attempts to make order out of Life, the Universe, and everything. Like Dan, I'll find out what's really going on in due course. Until then, I'll just hope for the best.
However, my spiritual experience leads me to think that the soul does exist, and that it is some form of energy. As a scientist, I am swayed by notions of Conservation of Energy: nothing in this universe ever simply disappears. It can change form, but never just vanish.
That being the case, I think there's a strong case to be made for the idea that whatever Dan is when he's not tied to a biological machine (with the mobility and memory storage this machine affords him) is out there somewhere.
This is probably a long-winded way of saying that perhaps my friends who believe in reincarnation are on to something. In Dan's case, I believe he left with a lot of work still to complete. We are not yet in the free society he wanted to leave behind he was taken from us long before he could finish the job of getting us there.
The good fight still needs fighting, and I believe that when we finally cast off this outmoded institution of slavery called "government", there will be a gun-totin' gay Texan leading the final charge.
Until that day, I can only offer Dan mantra that has become my own battle cry:
Freedom, Immortality, and the Stars!
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