THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 338, September 25, 2005

"Listening to the Libertarians Yapping"

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Lady Liberty

Another Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from E.J. Totty

Another Letter from E.J. Totty


Dear Editor:

There has long been a thread of authoritarian glee in some of Lady Liberty's essays. Her current work: "The Flood of Sympathy" [last issue] is a web of contradictions.

Individuals are responsible for the choices they take. Thus, individuals are responsible for how they choose to respond to emergency conditions, even if those conditions arise as a result of other choices they've taken.

Lady Liberty says, "At least officials had it right when they saw the storm coming and ordered an evacuation!"

Eventually, yes, officials such as the Mayor were confronted with the inescapable fact of the storm, and ordered an evacuation. New Orleans is in a peculiar situation, which most Yankees don't know about nor understand. The approaches to the city are limited, about 300,000 population have no vehicles of their own, so a thorough evacuation takes time, even in the very unlikely even that the government actually organizes it well.

In this case, most of the buses that were available for the evacuation purpose, including city buses and school buses, ostensibly able to move 12,000 residents at a time, ended up under water. The government didn't take action to move them to higher ground, didn't organize convoys to move people out.

However, with the roads now mandatorily full of evacuees, an average rate of travel of 20 mph to Baton Rouge implies a 4 hour move for each bus to traverse the 80 miles, and, when the police chose to speed the evacuation of the mobil and opened up the incoming lanes to outflowing traffic, the return trip would have been about the same speed. If you do the math, you soon realize that the order to evacuate would have had to be given days before, about the time the hurricane first entered the Gulf, when all predictions had it hitting Pensacola and it was not yet Category 2. Then you can be thinking about how much fun it is to order an evacuation of New Orleans every time a hurricane enters the Gulf, and how many people are apt to ignore such orders.

We can also address the issue of whether the governments at various levels allowed evacuees to leave. Several examples exist of victims reporting being forcibly prevented from using the bridges out of the city. Even escaping to the comparatively high, not bowl-shaped ground of Algiers over the river would have been better for many residents. Clamor about keeping the interstate open to traffic and closed to storm refugees represents the sort of heartless equation that individuals should be left to sort out for themselves, because it is certain the government is going to handle it badly.

Lady Liberty: "But some citizens voluntarily decided to defy the orders and ride the storm out.

Now, what happened to individual choice? The denizens of New Orleans knew their government was corrupt, dealt every week with their corrupt and sleazy police, knew that many of their neighbors were untrustworthy, and had a necessarily strong skepticism for everything the government weather service had to say. After all, the government lies routinely, steals routinely, kills routinely, and generally behaves as though it and every participant within it is evil.

How else to defend your property? You cannot take it all with you. You cannot trust the government's predictions about the storm. You cannot trust the police not to be among the looters.

Why should the government, that is evil, vicious, mindless, corrupt, and horrid get to make a mandatory evacuation order? If Boston had been mandatorily evacuated in 1775, do you suppose the British who ordered the evacuation would have deserved other than death? It is those who order private property owners to abandon their property who should be shot on sight.

Lady Liberty, parenthetically: "... those who stayed behind and are looting, shooting, or otherwise using this disaster for personal gain should get what they pay for, too, and be shot on sight."

So, no mercy for those who shoot trespassers to protect their property. No mercy for those who look for food or water among the ruins. Only mercy for the porcine police who order the evacuations and then commit acts of aggression to enforce them. All hail the conquering state, as long as it is ordering people to do things that "Lady Liberty" thinks are sensible, like abandon their property, when she's convinced it must be abandoned.

The difficulty I have with Lady Liberty's essays, much like the difficulty I've been having with some of Jonathan David Morris's essays, is this tendency toward unprincipled views. The government is justified in ordering evacuations and those who disobey the government should be shot, but each private individual should be responsible for his own property and not rely upon the government to solve things.

I've lived in places where a large tornado has ripped through town. I've lived on the hurricane dense Gulf Coast and seen a tropical storm drop 48 inches of water on most of Houston. I've lived in earthquake prone California and in places dense with prospective volcanoes. None of those things have nearly as much power to destroy lives as the stupid, brutal thugs in government, and their sycophants on the sidelines who cheer them on.

Yes, if those in power say, "Evacuate!" and someone chooses to stay, then those in power are exculpated from any of the difficulties that individual faces. But, if they then set up road blocks and forcibly prevent entry into the city of water (Wal-Mart trucks were prevented from entering Jefferson Parish to the West of New Orleans by FEMA in early days of the post-storm relief effort), food, or armed individuals then they are making things worse. Lady Liberty ought to stick to one set of principles, or another. Either she is for individual initiative, in which case she gets a large number of people taking choices as they see fit and acting in their own interests as they see them, or she is for the government telling everyone what to do, ordering evacuations, shooting those who defend private property, and occasionally beating up old ladies in their homes who happen to have handguns.

There is no compromise with brutality. There is only one acceptable form of government: self government. The government of the individual, by the individual, for the individual's benefit. Either one believes in the principle of non-aggression and asserts no authority for the government to order an evacuation, or one believes in coercion and aggression by external government to do whatever those in power think best, and to hell with individual initiative. It is a stark contrast, so the choice is clear.

Thus, my emergency preparedness kit includes a lot of rounds for my .308 rifle, a lot of kevlar, and a lot of time at the range.

Regards,

Jim Davidson
planetaryjim@yahoo.com
http://indomitus.net/


Dear Jim,

you wrote:

> There has long been a thread of authoritarian glee in some
> of Lady Liberty's essays. Her current work:
> "The Flood of Sympathy" [last issue]
> is a web of contradictions.
>
> Individuals are responsible for the choices they take. Thus,
> individuals are responsible for how they choose to respond to
> emergency conditions, even if those conditions arise as a
> result of other choices they've taken.

Agreed.

> Lady Liberty says, "At least officials had it right when they
> saw the storm coming and ordered an evacuation!"

That's their job. It's one of the few jobs I believe government has. When it has certain knowledge, it should inform the public of such.

> Eventually, yes, officials such as the Mayor were confronted
> with the inescapable fact of the storm, and ordered an evacuation.
> New Orleans is in a peculiar situation, which most Yankees don't
> know about nor understand. The approaches to the city are
> limited, about 300,000 population have no vehicles of their
> own, so a thorough evacuation takes time, even in the very
> unlikely even that the government actually organizes it well.

The latest estimates (based on the city of New Orleans' own emergency plans—which weren't followed) were that about 100,000 people didn't have transportation. The emergency plan specified the use of all school buses and all transit system buses be used to remove those approximately 100,000. It was estimated that it would take about 48 hours to do so. The city's plan was therefore clear that evacuations should be declared 48 hours in advance (or more). The National Weather Service warned Nagin in plenty of time; he "waited and see'd" too long.

> In this case, most of the buses that were available for the
> evacuation purpose, including city buses and school buses,
> ostensibly able to move 12,000 residents at a time, ended up
> under water.

They weren't under water before the hurricane hit. In fact, they weren't under water after the hurricane was gone! It was only after the levees broke that the parking areas were flooded.

> The government didn't take action to move them
> to higher ground, didn't organize convoys to move people out.
>
> However, with the roads now mandatorily full of evacuees, an
> average rate of travel of 20 mph to Baton Rouge implies a 4
> hour move for each bus to traverse the 80 miles, and, when
> the police chose to speed the evacuation of the mobil and
> opened up the incoming lanes to outflowing traffic, the
> return trip would have been about the same speed. If you do
> the math, you soon realize that the order to evacuate would
> have had to be given days before, about the time the hurricane
> first entered the Gulf, when all predictions had it hitting
> Pensacola and it was not yet Category 2. Then you can be
> thinking about how much fun it is to order an evacuation of
> New Orleans every time a hurricane enters the Gulf, and how
> many people are apt to ignore such orders.

New Orleans authorities estimated that, if their plans were followed, 48 hours would be sufficient. That doesn't mean they were right, but they're the (alleged) experts for their own locale, so I'll go with their estimate for now.

> We can also address the issue of whether the governments at
> various levels allowed evacuees to leave. Several examples
> exist of victims reporting being forcibly prevented from
> using the bridges out of the city. Even escaping to the
> comparatively high, not bowl-shaped ground of Algiers over
> the river would have been better for many residents.

Those incidents were shameful. They don't apply to this debate, however, since they happened AFTER the hurricane passed and the flooding was rampant, not before.

> Clamor about keeping the interstate open to traffic and closed to
> storm refugees represents the sort of heartless equation
> that individuals should be left to sort out for themselves,
> because it is certain the government is going to handle it
> badly.

I don't disagree at all.

> Lady Liberty: "But some citizens voluntarily decided to defy
> the orders and ride the storm out.

Entirely true. I would probably have been one of them myself.

> Now, what happened to individual choice?

Nothing. But with individual choice comes individual responsibility. I have NEVER supported forced evacuations, and still don't. If I choose to risk my life (and property), that's my business. Given the liability claims likely to result, I don't blame the governments at varying levels for issuing strong orders; but I do support the absolute right of citizens to ignore them. If we ignore those orders, however, we also absolve the government of responsibility for caretaking us.

> The denizens of New Orleans knew their government was corrupt, dealt every
> week with their corrupt and sleazy police, knew that many of
> their neighbors were untrustworthy, and had a necessarily
> strong skepticism for everything the government weather
> service had to say. After all, the government lies routinely,
> steals routinely, kills routinely, and generally behaves
> as though it and every participant within it is evil.
>
> How else to defend your property? You cannot take it all with
> you. You cannot trust the government's predictions about
> the storm. You cannot trust the police not to be among the
> looters.

I agree. Again, that's why I would have stayed. But like I suspect you would have been, I would have been prepared to stay.

> Why should the government, that is evil, vicious, mindless,
> corrupt, and horrid get to make a mandatory evacuation order?

Liability, pure and simple. If we're going to force the government to engage in risk management on our behalf, they're going to take some of our choices along with their acceptance of the burden. I hate to say it, but they've got a point...

> If Boston had been mandatorily evacuated in 1775, do you
> suppose the British who ordered the evacuation would have
> deserved other than death? It is those who order private
> property owners to abandon their property who should be shot
> on sight.

I don't have a problem with telling people, "Look, it's a category 5 hurricane. The levees ain't gonna make it. Get out!" I DO have a problem with adding, "Now move along, or I'll shoot!"

> Lady Liberty, parenthetically: "... those who stayed behind
> and are looting, shooting, or otherwise using this disaster
> for personal gain should get what they pay for, too, and be
> shot on sight."

They should be. And some of them were.

> So, no mercy for those who shoot trespassers to protect their
> property. No mercy for those who look for food or water
> among the ruins.

How is protecting my property "looting" or using a disaster for personal gain?

> Only mercy for the porcine police who
> order the evacuations and then commit acts of aggression to
> enforce them. All hail the conquering state, as long as it
> is ordering people to do things that "Lady Liberty" thinks
> are sensible, like abandon their property, when
> she's convinced it must be abandoned.

You are reading meaning where I didn't write it. Perhaps it IS sensible to abandon your property, but it's not up to me to make the decision for you. We should all be provided with the facts, and then make the choices ourselves. But once we make the decision, shouldn't we be responsible for it?

> The difficulty I have with Lady Liberty's essays, much like
> the difficulty I've been having with some of Jonathan David
> Morris's essays, is this tendency toward unprincipled views.
> The government is justified in ordering evacuations and
> those who disobey the government should be shot, but each
> private individual should be responsible for his own property
> and not rely upon the government to solve things.

Not at all. The government is PERFECTLY justified to order evacuations. In fact, it has the obligation to do so if it has knowledge that we're at risk. But it's up to us to assess the risk and behave accordingly. I'm at a loss here as to how you can believe I said (seeing as how I didn't) that people who defied evacuation orders SHOULDN'T take responsibility for themselves, or how people defending their homes and property are looters.

> I've lived in places where a large tornado has ripped through
> town. I've lived on the hurricane dense Gulf Coast and seen
> a tropical storm drop 48 inches of water on most of Houston.
> I've lived in earthquake prone California and in places dense
> with prospective volcanoes. None of those things have nearly
> as much power to destroy lives as the stupid, brutal thugs in
> government, and their sycophants on the sidelines who cheer
> them on.

Tough to argue with that...

> Yes, if those in power say, "Evacuate!" and someone chooses
> to stay, then those in power are exculpated from any of the
> difficulties that individual faces.

Yep. It's not the government's job to take care of me.

> But, if they then set
> up road blocks and forcibly prevent entry into the city of
> water (Wal-Mart trucks were prevented from entering Jefferson
> Parish to the West of New Orleans by FEMA in early days of
> the post-storm relief effort), food, or armed individuals
> then they are making things worse.

...and this is one of the reasons I don't want it to BE the government's job to take care of me. Wal-Mart, the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and others were ready to roll. Local and state government (and later federal authorities) stopped them from doing their jobs. Government was the problem. So were some criminals. Those who stayed behind weren't UNLESS they were those who stayed behind and then demanded immediate rescue as they blamed everyone but themselves for the fact they needed it.

> Lady Liberty ought to
> stick to one set of principles, or another. Either she is
> for individual initiative, in which case she gets a large
> number of people taking choices as they see fit and acting
> in their own interests as they see them, or she is for the
> government telling everyone what to do, ordering evacuations,

Evacuations? Yes. The government should offer information.

> shooting those who defend private property, and occasionally
> beating up old ladies in their homes who happen to have
> handguns.

No, no, no, no, and NO.

Sheesh, Jim, did you READ what I wrote??? Maybe you should take a look at my current column to see just who I DO blame for much of the mess, eh? You can find it [in this issue of TLE—Editor].

> There is no compromise with brutality. There is only one
> acceptable form of government: self government. The government
> of the individual, by the individual, for the individual's
> benefit. Either one believes in the principle of non-aggression
> and asserts no authority for the government to order an
> evacuation, or one believes in coercion and aggression by
> external government to do whatever those in power think best,
> and to hell with individual initiative. It is a stark
> contrast, so the choice is clear.
>
> Thus, my emergency preparedness kit includes a lot of
> rounds for my .308 rifle, a lot of kevlar, and a lot of
> time at the range.

See? I KNEW you'd be prepared! Now tell me the truth: If you erred, if you stayed behind and got your house flooded, would you blame the government for failing to make you leave?

Yeah. Me, neither. But too many in New Orleans ain't us.

Yours for freedom,
Lady Liberty
ladylibrty@ladylibrty.com


Dear Editor,

In regards to Lady Liberty's courteous and thorough response, I have some thoughts, as do Messrs. Dylan, Paine, Jefferson, Nietzche, Smith, de la Boetie, Thoreau, and Thibault.

Lady Liberty is for the state, in some form, doing some things. I am for the individual governing himself. These are not views which are compatible.

She will always find some excuse for the state to do things. I will always oppose the notion that the state should do anything. Indeed, I reject the notion that the state can do anything unless some individual takes action. I dislike the metaphor of the state, which is a shady way of saying that some are excused for behaving badly.

The balance of my comments are directed to Lady Liberty, as she directed hers to me.

> That's their job.

That's the job they imagine they ought to do. It seems that it is the job you think they ought to do. It is *not* a job that I agree they should have, have any proper authority to have, or would have in a decent, just, and rational society. Your culture is responsible for your government having jobs, and, as a result of your choices and the choices of others who support the state, you have become responsible, in my view, for the usurpations of your government.

> It's one of the few jobs I believe government has.

You are, of course, free to believe any completely foolish thing you wish to believe. I won't stop you. I won't agree with you, either. And, if your government with the jobs you think it has, and the jobs it has usurped over your objections, comes to my door with crazy ideas about involving me in its deception or brutality, bad results would obtain.

> When it has certain knowledge,

Where does it get knowledge or certainty? Your government is inept. In its incompetence, your government has prevented a free market in weather satellites. I know, I was in the business for years and watched it happen. In its stupidity, your government has prevented free market weather prediction.

Now, you know perfectly well that the word "weather" appears nowhere in your national constitution. Yet, you have a government with a national weather service. Or, a nationalist socialist weather disservice. How did that happen? You should have been paying more attention, and done more to prevent it. I, on the other hand, do not need a government weather girl "to know which way the wind blows."

> it should inform the public of such.

Where does your constitution grant authority for the national government to inform the public? Do you find the word "inform" as such in the constitution? No. The word "information" appears in Article 2, Section 3, "information of the state of the Union" and the word "informed" appears in the Bill of Rights, Article 6, "be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation." Not only is the term "inform the public" not in your constitution, the terms "emergency" and "martial law" do not appear in it.

By the way, this Article 6 freedom to be informed of the accusation is not the great writ of habeas corpus, which is the only thing that may be suspended in the event of invasion or of rebellion (see Article One, Section 9). Your government has suspended the Bill of Rights and the constitution, which is treason. Is that okay with you? Or should you be taking action on that matter?

Keep in mind that it is not my obligation to solve your problems with your government's usurpations of power and suspension of your liberty. It is your problem because it is your government.

It is certain, however, that I am more fully informed about your government's constitution than 99.99% of the people who live in your country. Since you seem to believe in some government and in some limits to government power, perhaps you ought to be embarrassed for your neighbors that they know less about your country's constitutional limits to power than a complete stranger who is completely against your form of government.

> The latest estimates (based on the city of New Orleans' own
> emergency plans—which weren't followed) were that about
> 100,000 people didn't have transportation.

Well, that's great, Lady. Here's a thought: maybe the latest estimates are all lies. Maybe the government "lies with stolen teeth, and lies easily." I don't believe the government, but let's take your 100,000 people and put them onto the available school buses which the government failed to keep out of the deep water.

The entire fleet of school buses and city buses would have had to make more than 8 round trips from New Orleans to Baton Rouge (say) for a total of 1,333 fleet miles traveled. Now, at 20 miles per hour average speed on the evacuation congested roads, that would be 67 hours of travel. Buses do not load or unload instantly, so figure on half an hour at both ends. Call it an additional 5 hours to load up in New Orleans, amidst chaos, and unload in Baton Rouge, where things would be less well organized it being the state capital. I get 72 hours. Three days.

Now, I grant you that on the day 72 hours before the storm the freeways weren't congested because there were no evacuees fleeing the city that was not at that time immediately threatened by the hurricane, so the buses would have moved faster, but, since I've accepted that there weren't congested freeways because there were no evacuees, you must accept that the buses would be empty, for the same reason.

> The emergency plan specified the use of all school buses and
> all transit system buses be used to remove those approximately
> 100,000. It was estimated that it would take about 48 hours
> to do so.

So, can the government do math? Apparently not. Take note of, say, the government's budget deficit or, say, the stark contrast between the statement "Mission Accomplished," and the recent projection by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld that a further twelve years of war in Iraq should be anticipated.

> The city's plan was therefore clear that evacuations should
> be declared 48 hours in advance (or more). The National Weather
> Service warned Nagin in plenty of time; he "waited and see'd"
> too long.

Do you remember any other hurricanes that threatened New Orleans in the last 5 years which didn't in fact prove to need the entire population to evacuate? Or weren't you aware that very clever peole in government always prepare to fight the last war? Right now, the government is all excited about being ready for Tropical Storm Rita to become a hurricane and hit New Orleans. So, once again, people are being forcibly prevented from returning to their homes and businesses in New Orleans.

In fact, those of us who have actually lived on the Gulf Coast have always known that New Orleans is unable to commit to an evacuation in time to accomplish an evacuation. They cannot convince people to evacuate the city every time a hurricane is in the Gulf waters, and they don't have enough time to get the people out when the hurricane and attendant floods are certain.

> They weren't under water before the hurricane hit.

And yet, people relied upon the government to keep the buses out of harm's way and the government failed them. Gosh.

That's such a surprise. Now, let me see. The government promised to provide drainage and flood control. The government lied, stole that money for the war in Iraq and for graft for city, parish, and state bureau-rats and politicos, and failed to provide drainage and flood control. Gee.

The government promised to provide support for an orderly evacuation. Failed. Promised food and water for the stranded and the refugees. Failed. Promised to maintain order in, say, the New Orleans Convention Center, the SuperDome, or the AstroDome, and failed. Murders, rapes, and theft resulted.

So this fabulous thing you love so abjectly, this government that has these jobs to do, which you insist people must rely upon the government to have done is...useless.

> In fact, they weren't under water after the hurricane was gone!
> It was only after the levees broke that the parking areas were
> flooded.

In point of fact, the levees did not break. The walls of the canals broke, or were broken. A number of survivors heard explosions the morning the canals failed. And, to everyone's surprise, the houses in upscale neighborhoods were never flooded. Huh.

> New Orleans authorities estimated that, if their plans were
> followed, 48 hours would be sufficient.

And I don't believe them. They are liars. If you believe them, then you would be a fool. Since I'm not in the habit of having discussions with fools, you should assume that I do not regard you as believing them. QED.

> That doesn't mean they were right, but they're the (alleged)
> experts for their own locale, so I'll go with their estimate
> for now.

Why? Why go with their estimate, ever? Why not do the math for yourself?

Figures I've seen show 300,000 people in the Greater New Orleans area relying upon public transportation. Now, obviously, the government there is motivated to lie about how many people use public transport, so they can get more "grants" of taxpayer money to corruptly allocate to transit projects. Your "latest estimates" are also based on government figures, which we may presume are ex post facto exculpatory. Suppose we admit that we don't know, and take a median value between the two figures we have no reason to believe? Then 200,000 people had to be moved, 17 trips were required, 2720 fleet miles were involved, a very generous 40 miles per hour average speed gives 68 hours, plus 17 half hours to load and 17 half hours to unload. Eighty-five hours.

> Those incidents were shameful.

Your government is shameful. Are you ashamed of it?

If your government is shameful, or behaved shamefully, why do you continue to insist upon holding it up? It only survives because you support it. Take away your support, and the government which oppresses you will fall. "From indignities which the beasts themselves would not tolerate you may free yourself if you would only will it. I do not ask that you lay your hands upon the tyrant. Only stop supporting him. Then you shall see him fall like a great Colossus."

> They don't apply to this debate, however, since they happened
> AFTER the hurricane passed and the flooding was rampant, not
> before.

Obviously, this debate is between you and me over the things that you and I agree to discuss. I don't agree with your idea to disregard the matter of the people being forced by the vicious brutal thugs in your government from leaving the city where they were trapped. Your government is a horrid, evil, nasty, brutish thing, and you are responsible for it up until you repudiate it.

So, either fix your ugly government, or abandon it.

> Given the liability claims likely to result,

Horse feathers, Lady. Your government never has to accept any liability for any action or inaction, and you know it. Your government has (usurped) sovereign immunity.

> I don't blame the governments at varying levels for issuing
> strong orders;

I do. Where in the constitution of the United States is the word "evacuate" or the term "order the evacuation"? If you won't police your government's limitations, then who would?

Qui custodiet ipsos custodes? Who shall guard you from your guardians themselves? Evidently, judging by the foul acts of your Oklahoma National Guard in forcibly seizing weapons in door to door searches in the Lower Garden District, no one is guarding you from the guardsmen.

> but I do support the absolute right of citizens to ignore them.

How so? How do you support that right? By saying that people should listen to the government? By saying that it is up to the government to inform them? By going to New Orleans and doing battle with uniformed thugs who are going door to door to search for and seize guns? Or by saying that you support these freedoms but actually doing nothing? Tom Paine said we'd have Summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.

> If we ignore those orders, however, we also absolve the government
> of responsibility for caretaking us.

Lady, I have never asked your government to do anything. I take nothing from government and I go way, way out of my way to give nothing to it.

It would be a courtesy to me if you would stop using "we" when you write to me, because I don't wish to find myself with you in a pronoun. If you ignore the orders of your government, good for you.

You want to absolve the government? Why?

Why are you on the side of government? Is it because you cannot bear to be without the machinery of government and hear its din?

> Liability, pure and simple.

Sovereign immunity. Do not give me that nonsense about liability.

> If we're going to force the government to engage in risk
> management on our behalf,

Again with the "we" stuff. I am not going to force the government to engage in any activity. It is not my government, and I have no meaningful power to force it to do a thing. And you know it. You don't have any power to force the government, and very little power to resist it. In fact, it is just the other way 'round. It is your government that forces everyone else to submit to its incompetent risk mismanagement, and you know it.

> they're going to take some of our choices along with their
> acceptance of the burden.

But, you are wrong. They deny choices, but they never accept the burden. Sovereign immunity is their trump card. And, what does it mean if your government agrees to pay for its errors? They aren't paying with the money of the evil malicious men and women who did wrong, they pay with the money they flog from tax payers or print up and inflict on everyone with inflation.

> I hate to say it, but they've got a point...

It is well that you hate to say it. They don't have a good point, but an evil one. It would be better for your immortal soul if you repudiated their government utterly. But, I suspect you aren't able to bring yourself to do so.

> I don't have a problem with telling people, "Look, it's a
> category 5 hurricane. The levees ain't gonna make it. Get out!"

I do. I have a problem with your government usurping the authority to create a nationalist socialist weather service and a nationalist socialist hurricane center. Where does the word "hurricane" appear in your national government's constitution? Is it "okay" and not "a problem" if your government does things that it is not explicitly authorized to do? Isn't that how y'all ended up with tyrants seizing guns from homeowners in New Orleans?

> I DO have a problem with adding, "Now move along, or I'll shoot!"

Well, good. Good to know. Now that you have this problem, what do you propose to do about it?

It is the case that your government is ordering people to move along or be shot. It is the case that your government is forcibly evicting little old ladies, throwing them to the floor of their own homes for daring to defy its orders.

It is YOUR government, Lady. So, it is YOUR problem. It isn't my problem because it isn't my government.

> How is protecting my property "looting" or using a disaster
> for personal gain?

You said it was wrong to stay behind shooting. If you meant to include an exception for shooting in defense of life, liberty, or property, why didn't you say so?

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

> You are reading meaning where I didn't write it.

Indeed, and I'm perfectly willing to be responsible for my interpretations and the obvious implications that I find where you left them to be seen. If you wanted to avoid these implications, you might have added text to remove the possibility of misunderstanding.

> Perhaps it IS sensible to abandon your property, but it's
> not up to me to make the decision for you.

Yes, I am aware of my responsibilities. Thank you.

You might want to take a moment and mention this fact to your government, because it seems to be utterly out of control and unwilling to accept me as a free agent.

> We should all be provided with the facts,

By whom? I don't wish to be provided with any "facts" by your government. Your government has been lying about inflation for ten years. Your government has been lying about its gold inventory since at least 1960. Your government has lied, been caught in lies, and lied again. Do you remember the bombing of Cambodia that your government claimed wasn't going on? Your government lies all the time. Why do you want it to be providing you "with the facts"?

> and then make the choices ourselves.

But your government doesn't accept you as a free agent, either. Your government, and its FEMA and its National Guardsmen are forcing people to do their bidding, without regard to your government's constitution. Either that is your fault, because it is your government and you are doing not enough to stop it, or it is not your fault, in which case you have to repudiate this tyranny as not being your government.

What's it going to be? You cannot have your government without being responsible for all of it.

> But once we make the decision, shouldn't we be responsible
> for it?

Once you choose, yes, you should be responsible. I very much dislike this collective "we" because the choices taken are individual, so the responsibility is individual.

You chose to have the USA government be your government. Therefore you should be responsible for it.

If, on the other hand, you accept the fact that you don't have the power to take responsibility for the actions of your government and make them behave, then you ought to give up the idea that it is your government. I think you'll find if you look candidly at the facts that what you thought was your government has been usurped and taken away.

Which means that you are free and self-responsible until such time as you consent to another government. After all it was to secure your freedom that the government was instituted, right? "To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the unanimous consent of the governed."

Have you given your consent to "the government" of which you write? If so, then it is your responsibility to fix it. I don't think you have the capacity to fix it, as I do not think it is actually broken. Rather, I believe what exists is something which replaced what you thought was your government. That thing which exists was designed to be corrupt, to be brutal, to destroy liberty and redistribute property. Therefore, it is high time you repudiate it. It is your duty.

"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

Let me tell you, Lady, a long train of abuses and usurpations has evinced a design to reduce you under the iron heel of absolute despotism. It is your right, it is your DUTY to throw off such government and to provide new guards for your future security.

> Not at all. The government is PERFECTLY justified to order
> evacuations.

No, the government is perfectly evil. It does not only order evacuations, but makes them mandatory. You know this fact.

> In fact, it has the obligation to do so if it has knowledge
> that we're at risk.

No, it does not. In fact, the courts have ruled repeatedly that the government has no obligations at all. If a police officer witnesses a crime in progress he has no obligation to take any action. That's the ruling of the supreme court of your government.

> But it's up to us to assess the risk and behave accordingly.

No, your government has decided to take away your choice.
> I'm at a loss here as to how you can believe I said (seeing as
> how I didn't) that people who defied evacuation orders SHOULDN'T
> take responsibility for themselves, or how people defending
> their homes and property are looters.

You wrote it was bad for people to remain behind and be found shooting.

Is it acceptable, to you, for people who are at risk of losing their lives to take water and food from places which were abandoned by their owners? Or haven't you read Neil's book Forge of the Elders?

> Tough to argue with that...

Then please don't. Please repudiate this evil thing your government has become, and organize a better one for yourself.

> It's not the government's job to take care of me.

If you are the government of yourself, then it is your job to take care of you. I think your term "the government" is a bit loose, and you should tighten that up. There are after all, several governments which insist on taking care of you. These include national, state, county or parish, city, and other governments. You might do well to make a list of people who claim that they are going to take care of you.

Indeed, I find the very term "take care of me" to be quite ominous. I think that's what Eichman thought he was doing, "taking care of" the Jewish "problem."

> Government was the problem.

Self government wasn't the problem. Your ideas for an externally imposed, perhaps constitutionally "limited" set of governments were the problem.

> Evacuations? Yes. The government should offer information.

No, it should not. The only information your national government has the authority to offer is the information of the state of the union that the president gives to the Congress. Your government should not be in the business of parceling out information, it has no authority to be in that business, that is the business of Joseph Goebbels and every other propaganda minister, and you should know better.

> Sheesh, Jim, did you READ what I wrote???

Indeed I did. And you failed to make clear that you were okay with people shooting to defend life, liberty, and property. You wrote that there was a problem with people who chose to stay behind and engaged in shooting. How am I to know what you meant? Why should I give you, a statist, admittedly a minarchist, the benefit of the doubt?

You keep saying "we" and "the government" as if it were my fault that you've chosen a poor form of government. It is not my government. I am the government of me.

> Now tell me the truth: If you erred, if you stayed behind
> and got your house flooded, would you blame the government
> for failing to make you leave?

Your question is a semantic null. Which government? Your national government? Your state government? Your city government? Your county government? I am the government of me. I do not consent to all your governments. Your governments are your responsibility.

And, frankly, I'm very disappointed with the way your government has been running roughshod over people in places I've spent time, some of whom I've gotten to know quite well. I think you've been irresponsible about your government, you've done an inadequate job of constraining it to its constitutional powers, and you ought to do better.

Now, I don't insist that you keep all these governments if you don't want them. It was your choice to have them be your governments, it is your choice to keep them, it is your choice if you wish to let them go, or make them go away from you. But, as long as you choose to have the United States of America be your government, then it is your problem that your government is out of control, is abusing your liberty, is usurping power, is evincing a design to reduce you under absolute despotism.

> But too many in New Orleans ain't us.

It is not your responsibility to choose for them. Free yourself, Lady. You have the ability to choose freedom, you have the capacity to grasp it, you have the knowledge to use it, you have the wisdom to embrace it, you have the courage to keep it, and you have the responsibility to choose for yourself. You cannot choose freedom for the people of New Orleans.

Very obviously, a great many of them have not chosen freedom, are not self-responsible, and don't seek to be. It may be possible to enlighten them, and I think it much better to inform their ignorance than rule them. I would rather do neither. I have, as they say, other fish to fry.

Regards,

Jim Davidson
planetaryjim@yahoo.com
http://indomitus.net/


Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Re: http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050923/APN/509231101

As you know, I am no friend of government.

But...

The hideous idiots who are part of the 'Brady Campaign' should be taken to a court of law, and sued for everything they own—every damned last one of them.

I take note, however, that the chosen places for their adverts are already so gun-controlled, that it's like preaching to the choir. I wonder: Why weren't cities in such states as Vermont, or Alaska, listed?

The Brady bunch are fond of their old saying "If it saves just one life..."

Well, I consider it to be only proper that if the Bradys and their gaggle of followers were to be permanently put out of business in the same way the Skin heads were, then it might save the life of just one gun owner whose firearms were confiscated—wherever, whenever, however.

E.J. Totty
ejt@seanet.com


Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Re.: http://www.adn.com/front/story/7007777p-6909325c.html

One of my favorite 'hot button' issues: Global Warming.

Please do note that in the first sentence discusses the matter of warm weather, and says that the latest trend is removed from the last trend by 400 years.

I find that interesting, because the author is actually saying that it was as warm then as it is now, but that's as far as he discusses history. From thence, he entirely ignores any other aspect, and apparently declines to discuss past historical artifacts readily available for his perusal: Greenland, and the Norse culture which settled there over 1000 years ago—when the weather of the northern hemisphere was a lot warmer than it is presently.

For an absolutely outstanding web site devoted to matter of the Norse and Greenland, go here: http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/voyage/htmlonly/greenland.html

Also not discussed, is the rather smaller Earth population back then—either 400, or 1000 years ago—as opposed to now, and the insignificant contribution to 'greenhouse gasses' which are supposedly the genesis of the current trend.

But, what really pulls my tail here, is that the Sun's thermal output is never mentioned. You'd think that the scientists—and the journalists who mouth their prognostications—would mention at least something about the thermal output of the Solar system's largest nuclear reactor. Without it, we'd all have silver screws holding our arses on, because they'd be frozen off otherwise.

Nary a peep.

Why, do you suppose, that is?

Not a single mention of historical fact—beyond the most cursory allusion to some related event, and even that is completely ignored otherwise and afterwards, by inflating the current Chicken Little scenario.

But, wait: There's more!

Back in 1975, the 'scientists' were discussing the then current rage: Global Cooling!

See: http://www.globalclimate.org/Newsweek.htm

Now, if you're really interested, the Google search term for the above URL was: http://www.google.com/search?q=Global+cooling&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Ever get the impression that you're in a washing machine?

The degree of hysteresis here that is absolutely astounding!

The thought expressed here is: Going from one extreme to another.

The hype concerning 'Global Warming' is so deep, that you'd need waders to get through it. Be sure to wash your hands when you're done though.

You want my opinion concerning all of this? Hyperbole.

It's gonna get warm, and then it's gonna get cold. And then it's gonna get warm, and it might get warmer. But, then again? It could get a lot cooler, and then it might not.

It's all about caribou farts, but no one even wants to say that!

Now, where the dickens did I leave that nice tall ice-cold glass of IPA (AKA Ballard Bitter) ...

E.J. Totty
ejt@seanet.com


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