THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 550, December 27, 2009
"It will not end with medicine."
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RE: "The Issue of Copyright", by Curt Howland
I thank Mr. Howland for the kind words regarding my novel, Net Assets. For the record, I am opposed to the current concept of copyright (and have written on the subject previously in TLE), something a few people don't get. I have seen myself, and my experience with Net Assets, held up as justification for copyright.
Mr. Howland wrapped up his essay with "And if it turns out that musicians, authors and inventors cannot do their thing full time without those monopoly profits, then the old phrase of "don't quit your day job" comes to mind."
All too true. My publication of the novel was an experiment. Originally, I had hoped to interest a dead tree publishing house in buying the novel. In such a case, I would have viewed the "advance" as the real payment.
However, no publishing house would even return the SASE included with the manuscript, much less buy it. One agent did return the SASE, but enclosed a rejection of someone else's tale. So began the experiment: A lot more proofreading and correction, generating some cover art, and rendering the manuscript in several electronic formats. Then a little marketing on the Web. For two or three months, I sold enough copies to buy some food and make inroads on the rent.
And that was it.
In all, I never made more than a few hundred dollars. Net Assets was a net loss. Funny though, seven years later, people are still downloading Net Assets and the few short stories I left online dozens of times every month. And I keep hearing the questions: "Is there a sequel? When is it coming out?"
Answer: Never. I went back to my day job.
Except for occasional musings on my website or letters like this, I don't write for the public anymore. I learned that, while they like it enough to ask for more, people don't think my work good enough to pay for; so I no longer waste my time producing it. The sequels to Net Assets (there are two; one complete, and one outlined with several chapters written, three if you count the anthology) will not be seen unless someone wants to pay for them up front. Or maybe if I win the lottery; I do have an ego.
All this may sound like a digression, but it isn't really. My experience reinforced my take on intellectual property: If your work is good enough, someone will pay you without a copyright gun stuck in his face. And if it, like Net Assets, isn't good enough to buy, then what "right" is being protected anyway?
RE: "The Issue of Copyright", by Curt Howland
Curt Howland in "The Issue of Copyright" mentioned Carl Bussjaeger's work Net Assets. If Curt, and anyone else, wants to help Carl, urge him to do the editing necessary to get it ready for Amazon's DTP (Digital Text Publishing) as a Kindle ebook. I've done a lot of work in getting a decent HTML version ready and it really just needs a good cover art (I've got samples of the original and two other versions at DeviantArt if anyone wants to help out... What's needed is a 2040 x 2720 pixel jpeg file.)
The nice thing about DTP is that the author (or author/agent if the author uses an agent to go through the submission process) gets 35% of the retail price, instead of the drivel most publishers are willing to pay. And, if the author is willing to set aside the money out of the fees generated, the book can then be submitted again through Amazon's ClearSpace subsidiary. ClearSpace pays between 35% and 50% of the selling price for a nice trade paperbackand they POD so the author isn't stuck with tons of excess stock that he must market on his own.
Re: "Obama and Libertarians" by by Daniel G. Jennings
I've heard this before, and it's wishful thinking.
The full title of the book (for those not inclined to click the link) is this
The Last Democrat. Why Bill Clinton Will Be The Last Democrat Americans Elect President.
It seems Bill Bradford may have published that one a bit too soon.
What I'm hoping for is that the Obama Administration can be tied to the Bush Administration in its support for the USA-PATRIOT Act, the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the bevy of bailouts, among other things. Let George Bush be the albatross about Barack Obama's neck.
Until Americans stop seeing issues as "Republicans vs Democrats" and start seeing things as "Imperial Washington DC vs The Rest of Us," not much is going to change in favor of Liberty.
If you're looking for a "libertarian Obama" who has sound principles AND can articulate them to a non-libertarian audience, I recommend that you check out Adam Kokesh, running for New Mexico's 3rd District Congressional seat, currently warmed by the patronage system's poster boy, Ben Ray Lujan.
I was in fact unaware of Cassidys protest.
Whether young or not so young ladies and women choose to walk topless in public (BTW by Texas law, Cassidy and my theoretical young lady are actually wearing more than the law requires) should be clearly permitted or forbidden.The written law in fact guarantees that right. Instead we have that evil "or if someone takes offense" language in the law.
As things stand, if a teacher in a public school were to make the sign of the cross upon hearing a tragedy announced (death of a beloved politician) and someone were to complain he had stepped over the limits of seperation of Church and State his right of free practice of religion would be thrown out. Of course it's wrong to proseletyze using a position of authority to create a bully pulpit (multiple meanings), but this does not mean a teacher should give up the right to publicly practice her or his faith. Yet the phrase "I find this offensive" is enough to get the offending teacher on the carpet. Again as a Texas resident there is little danger of me or people I know being busted under these circumstances (if anything all but the most blatant proselytizing is pretty much ignored).
One last example. If I were to walk to the nearest gun shop and buy a rifle or shotgun, sllng it from my shoulder and walk back home I would be in 100% compliance with Texas law. It is in fact legal to openly carry long guns in Texas in a non threatening manner. It is in fact legal to carry a gun from the shop to your house.
I can almost guarantee that the least unpleasant result would be me getting a ride home and stern lecture (possibly accompanied by laughs at the expense of the person who called in the complaint) from the cops who stopped me about halfway from the shop. All because even though everything I did was legal someone had taken offense.
Constitutional and statutory law promise that the state will respect and even actively protect a wide variety of rights. While of course no one should go out of their way to offend others, and in fact people should face appropriate penalties when they commit the act of aggression of deliberately offending others, neither should one fear that their rights as defined by law can be tossed aside by the simple phrase "I am offended" by some prudish victim disarming atheist.
Libertarians are accused of trying to create a lawless society. Yet it is the enemies of liberty who have come up with this "I am offended" trump card to overturn law and deny others the law's protection of their rights
Meanwhile, three cheers for Cassidy and others who defend liberty by exercising it!
Men and women going as close to naked as the weather and law allows, people practicing their religion openly, people carrying legally permitted weapons in a legally prescribed manner should not be political statements or protest activities.
They should be the daily activities of honest people honestly going about their honest daily business.
I am not even addressing the high probability that the laws in question may be in fact excessively restrictive. I am simply arguing that people acting within the limits of the law should not have to worry about Ms. Grundy and her spiritual brethren and sistren being offended.
Bright some ways
In his very fine essay on "Obama and Libertarians", Daniel Jennings writes, "Ron Paul and Peter Schiff are pretty bright guys and I'm sure they see this."
"We always have to think about the long term consequences of our actions" he says in the first part, talking about the AIG bailout. I wonder if he can apply that level of thoughtfulness to attacking Iran?
At about 2:47 he says we don't need to have troops in 160 countries around the world.
He also says that he would limit any attack on Iran, not try to occupy it.
So, I said, in my letter, it could be worse. He wrote back to say that he was proud of his idea of bombing Iran with strategic bombers given credible intelligence that they were building a nuclear weapon.
Of course, he wouldn't back down even after I presented the credible intelligence that there was no Gulf of Tonkin incident, and no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So, we exchanged words, and he made me very unhappy.
I'm unhappy to think that anyone who is libertarian is taken in by this guy. Peter Schiff is an ugly war monger.
Building weapons, I said, is not a crime. For example, if your neighbor were building a rifle in his basement, that is not an excuse to kick down his door and slaughter his family.
Nor did he have an answer for why not attack North Korea, which not only has built nuclear weapons, but missile systems, and is daring everyone to attack them. (Why doesn't the USA attack North Korea? Because they have enough artillery to obliterate Seoul no matter who attacks them or when.)
There was no reasoning with him. No one who takes the position that Iran should not be bombed can ever be elected to the Senate, he said. Well, I guess that's good.
I would certainly make the distinction between Ron Paul and Peter Schiff on this issue.
War is a scam. Attacking, including bombing, countries that have not attacked your country is wrong, and will always be wrong. It is bad enough that FDR manipulated the Japanese and provoked them repeatedly with acts of war like sending naval vessels into their territorial waters. It was evil of FDR not to prepare the troops at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines for what FDR knew was about to happen (because the Japanese codes were broken in October 1940).
But bombing Iran for attempting to make a nuclear weapon is evil. It would be an unprovoked attack, it would not be in response to any act of war, and it would be wrong.
One of the implications of Neil Smith's very sincere and very appropriate call for an end to the United Nations is that a UN security council resolution does not bind the USA government to attack any other nation, never has, and never can. Acting as though the foreign policy of the uSA ought to be made by the UN is silly.
So, there's no excuse. Schiff ought to know better. And ought to be abandoned for pretending to be something he isn't.
With the new year coming up and people needing new calendars allow me to make the following unpaid and unsolicited recommendation. Maybe if enough sales are made this way we can convince the company in question to become a TLE affiliate.
Cold War Shooters (coldwarshooters.net) is selling 2010 Tacgirl calendars for something like seven bucks less than you can get them from tacgirls.com. Go to web site then click CWS Logo/ Gear and scroll down to Tac Girls 2010 Calendar Undoubtedly shipping and handling (and sales tax if you're a Texas resident) will eat most of this discount but you can't have everything.
The models aren't quite as runway model pretty as Playboy's and they're wearing somewhat more clothing, but you'll love the accessories. If you have problems with Tacgirl being pro military and pro cop send them pro OathKeepers literature and recruit them to be pro Oathkeeper. They're pro Second Amendment and it's a place to start.
What's in this for me, since I'm asking the Editor to run what amounts to a free ad, is that CWS's storefront is about seven blocks from my current digs and if they get enough sales they'll be there when I need to buy ammo and accessories (not to mention guns) from them. What's in it for TLE is that maybe the editor can convince Cold War Shooters and Tactical Girls to become affiliates (advertisers) for TLE. What's in it for you is supporting 2 pro 2A webvendors.
Revised comments on senate health care bill
As the Senate got into position to vote on the "Health Care Reform" package (AKA the Great Health Insurance Rip Off) complaints were already being prepared that the package agreed on was unconstitutional and illegal in several instances. Certain states did seem to receive the kind of favoritism that violates all sorts of parts of the Constitution. Very specifically, Nebraska received a guarantee of funding for Medicaid expansion in perpetuity in that state even as Medicare is cut elsewhere that violates the intent if not the actual phrasing on the restrictions of the power of Congress in the phrase "No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another."
Supporters of the bill did not deny that they were being corrupt. Rather they chided their opponents in the Senate for whining about corruption instead of carving out plums for their own states. The bill that was passed Christmas Eve reflects a cheerful level of "get while the getting's good" that would have warmed the cockles of the heart of any Guilded Era Stalwart Republican.
Caesar, Antony and Octavian probably had Senators like these guys. Their rise to power was necessitated and enable by these guys. "Don't complain about me thievin', git your hand in the till and take what you want." "I'll let you steal the good China if you let me have the silverware."
It may be that universal public (i.e. guv'mint mandated, tax payer and inflation financed) health care insurance may be the only just way to provide health care ( I mention this as devil's advocate, not conviction. I still feel at risk of falling out of chair in laughter.) However. the level of corruption that went into the Senate bill puts a taint on this version, one that guarantees it will ultimately lead to the abuses predicted by the harshest critics of universal health care while failing to truly improve the quality of life for all but the most needy, and only half as well at twice the price of leaving the status quo in place, and that's being optimistic.
To which Rich Bartucci replied:
Al, I'm disinclined to think of this stampede of the Gadarene swine in any sense other than its recall of the staggering USA PATRIOT Act, yet another bundle of statist masturbation fantasies accreted by one of the Boot On Your Neck Party factions at a moment of political advantage.
Whatever the National Socialists (c'mon, we're not calling them "Democrat" any more, are we?) arrive at once the House reconciles with the Senate, I foresee an act of legislation that will play out in the Code of Federal Regulations as a nightmare over the next few years, rendering it all but impossible during that interval for businesses in the private sector to anticipate costs so that they can budget with any reasonable expectation of surviving.
The "job-killing" effect is going to be simply astonishing.
One-sixth of the happy fiction we call the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is directly or indirectlybut completelyinvolved in the provision of health care. The impact of this murderous invasion upon that sector cannot and will not be fully appreciable until the horror settles out, and that will take a little time. Not much, but a little.
Meanwhile, I expect that the capital markets are going to go into something of a tailspin. Think of them as the "mine canary" of the general economy, first to respond to a catastrophe such as this one.
Financing in the health care sector (and in the economy at large) which seemed robust six months or a year agoor even yesterdaynow teeters on the brink of disaster. Will pharmaceuticals companies, hospital consortiums, medical device manufacturers, companies responsible for the development of imaging hardware, laboratory equipment, and similar machinerywill these entities be able to survive in an environment of government takeover? Will their instruments of debt, the loans they've taken out for capitalization, their stocksis all of that going to go the way of General Motors?
Moreover, will those providers of goods and services who are well-enough connected politically be worth a tinker's damn when it comes to putting reliable outputs at the behest of patients and their health care providers?
I can't help but remember the worst moments of Atlas Shrugged, when the incompetent "in crowd" looters took over the framework of industry, transportation, researchall of it painstakingly devised over decades by people motivated by the desire to exceland ran it into the ground in a year or two.
One-sixth of the U.S. economy in the hands of Barry Soetoro and his little ACORN elves, all in one sweeping act of National Socialist pillage.
I don't know about you younger guys, but I'm beginning to look upon my own personal actuarial statuswhich is decidedly not goodand take a sort of perverse pleasure in the probability that I'm going to be dead, cremated, and scattered before our Marxist Messiah from Mombasa comes up for the first of his many planned re-elections.
The following was posted originally in L. Neil Smith at Random in a totally different contexr. That said, hving spoken in favor of open immigration and general amnesty for people currently illegally in the United States, irepeat the following
While I think current immigration policy needs to loosen up in some areas I think the following signed oath should be required of all persons immigrating into this country, including people just passing through:
All persons not citizens of The United States should be required to sign this oath every time they first enter this country in both their native language and English.
End of quote from publisher's blog. I'm sure the language could stand being formalized and will irritate both right and left wingers.
I support open immigration, but only for people who come into the US as honest friends and wish to enjoy and extend to others the rights all free men deserve. Anyone who comes in with other intent deserves what he or she gets.
To which Dennis Lee Wilson replied:
I appreciate the effort that you are expending trying to get a consistent grip on the immigration issue, but with regard to this last one, I have to ask:
Just WHO would administer and enforce this oath? Would it be the same people who openly ignore the restrictions of USA Constitution? If not them, exactly who else did you have in mind?
As for "loosening up" the immigration policy, I have already shown how the entire policy is UN-Constitutional  (that means that NONE OF IT is legal). That also means that it should not be "loosened up", it should be ABOLISHED!
Perhaps you might be interested in other TLE articles on immigration that I have written (one of which L. Neil himself praised). They are indexed [here]
Scroll down to the sub-heading The (Unnecessary) War against Immigrants
If you are really serious about oaths, why not look into this one that L Neil wroteespecially for youin 1985:
Dennis Lee Wilson
 "Immigration control is UN-Constitutional!" REALLY! Its TRUE! The US Constitution does NOT authorize immigration control!
P.S., that goes for EXIT control also!!
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