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L. Neil Smith's
Number 634, August 28, 2011

"Casinos are like a neon-decorated IRS"

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Letter from Richard Bartucci

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Another Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Rich Matarese

On "A Response to Lucifer Geraldo's article Regarding Sex" by Ann Morgan

In The Libertarian Enterprise Number 633 (21 August 2011), Ann Morgan writes:

"...I would like to discuss a pet peeve of mine, namely a form of sexual mutilation which is very common in the USA, and which some readers here might actually be in favor of. This is male circumcision, and I do not think the practice of it can be justified under the ZAP. The bottom line is this: The male foreskin is not a disease, an injury, a birth defect, or a genetic anomaly. It is normal, healthy body tissue."

This routine surgical procedure is execrable if for no other reason than that it has become "routine."

All "routine" medical interventions warrant explicit risk/benefit calculation in every damned case, and if the honest interpretation of the hypothetical benefits does not prove overwhelmingly convincing, then the risk (and cost) cannot be defended.

The current argument for "routine infant circumcision" is that the incidence of sexually transmitted disease (STD) contagion is to some arguable extent lessened if the male coital partner is circumcised.

That's it.

Not that the use of penile condoms and generally good "safe sex" prophylaxis isn't just as necessary whether a fella's got a mushroom or an anteater, but that an intact penile prepuce is supposed to confer some kind of liability that can be snipped away in the first few days of life.

The potential adverse outcomes of "routine infant circumcision" are well known: bleeding, penile chordee, infection, infarction with necrosis, surgical damage to the distal urethra, chronic dysuria, chronic sexual impotence—the list goes on. Although these are rare with proper surgical technique, they are all very real risks, and none of them are objectively justified by the putative benefits conferred by the performance of this procedure.

Beyond that, there's the fact that the male prepuce is not without purpose. In America, infants are kept diapered. When such a child urinates, the wet diaper is in contact with the skin for some time before the youngster is changed. All reading here are familiar—by way of anecdote or childcare experience—with diaper rash. That's what happens to stratified squamous epithelium.

Now imagine what that urine does to the very thin epithelium of the newly-circumcised penile glans.

The chronic (and very avoidable) diaper dermatitis inflicted upon the circumcised male infant's penis is responsible for irritation leading to meatitis, the inflammation of the opening through which the urine flows from the urethra. Very commonly, this inflammation results in meatal stenosis—a narrowing of that opening—such that the child must increase pressure in the urinary bladder to initiate and sustain voiding. It can even cause such pressure that there is retrograde flow of urine from the bladder up into the ureter on one or both sides, increasing pressure in the collecting system of the kidney(s), and that, dear reader, can destroy the ability of the kidney(s) to function.

This is literally life-threatening.

In western Europe—where infant circumcision is virtually never performed—meatal stenosis is almost unheard of. Male infants, left intact, do not develop the chronic balanitis so common with diaper rash in American baby boys, and therefore a childhood meatotomy is one of those "zebra" surgical procedures in hospitals in Germany and France and the United Kingdom. When one is scheduled, the residents crowd in to watch.

Over here? They're commonplace.

Finally—and readers unfamiliar with urology, trauma, and the management of major burns are going to think this is nuts—the male prepuce is some of the best transplant tissue on the human body.

In terms of vascularity, pigmentation, hair follicle distribution, thickness, and viability as full-thickness graft source, there is nothing to compare with the foreskin, especially for the plastic revision of congenital hypospadias and epispadias (look 'em up) and eyelid reconstruction in the address of facial burns and facial skin cancer.

"Routine infant circumcision" not only puts the child at risk but simply throws this tissue away, making it unavailable for any future use.

There is very little "upside" for all the incontrovertable "downside" to what Ms. Morgan characterizes very accurately as modern American ritual "sexual mutilation."

So why is this idiotic and unescapably malpractitionate procedure performed at all? Simple answer: health "insurance" carriers pay for it. Not a helluva lot, but certainly enough to make it attractive for obstetricians (who do virtually all "routine infant circumcisions" in America) to treat it as a nice revenue enhancement.

I propose that third-party health "insurance" payors be permitted to deny coverage for "routine infant circumcisions" (almost all of which are undertaken with the specious diagnosis of "phimosis"—the inability to easily retract the infant foreskin, which is an entirely normal condition in the newborn male).

No easy, uncontested payment for this surgery, no incentive to push a consent form under the hand of a groggy, exhausted, opioid-woozy woman five minutes after she's finished shoving eight or nine pounds of baby boy out'n her crotch.

If Ms. Morgan wants to put an end to this hideous "sexual mutilation," just require the young parents of America's little boys to cough up cash in advance.

It'll peter out damned quickly after that.

Richard Bartucci

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

Astronomers discover planet made of diamond (Reuters)

Have you read Ceres yet? Here's the Diamond Rogue in spades!

article at

Buy Ceres links:

Kindle or Paper
(The complete novel is also on the web for free at

Barnes & Noble: Ceres Paperback or Nook

L. Neil Smith

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

Federal News Radio 1500 AM: Washington Monument damages

Have you read "The Lone and Level Sands" yet? [See previous letter for links to Ceres where it appears -- Editor] Here's the start of ther vertical Washington Monument becoming the horizontal Washington Wall:


L. Neil Smith

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

You read it first in The Libertarian Enterprise!

When he is defeated in November 2012, I predict that "Harrison J. Bounel" (or whatever in hell his name really is) will resign so that Hairplug Joe Biden can serve out the "lame duck" remainder of the Obama Infestation.

This will enable our first certifiably brain-damaged POTUS to provide Barry Soebarkah with a blanket presidential pardon so that our Mombasa Messiah won't have to spend the rest of his life in an isolation cell in Leavenworth with nothing but his weekly shower to look forward to.

Rich Matarese

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

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