Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 659, February 26, 2012

"The recent financial collapse, generated by
the fascist economic policies under Bush and Obama"

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Letter from Ann Morgan

Letter from A.X. Perez

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

How to buy a duck

Re: "Wanna Buy a Duck?" by Michael Bradshaw

Dear Editor:

It is with some reluctance that honesty compels me to contradict a part of Michael Bradshaw's defense of myself in the most recent (2/19/12) Libertarian Enterprise.

Although I don't much like admitting it, putting a multiplier, such as 3 or 7, onto financial restitution, in order to pay for emotional damages is probably not that good an idea, and will lead to a lot of abuse of the legal system.

There are a couple reasons for this. The first is that since one's emotions are pretty much unprovable, anyone can, and will, claim 'emotional' problems for a crime. And a lot of people most likely will, if it means a bigger restitution. How do you judge someone's emotions? Some people may be more attached to their pet duck than others. Some people might have a duck in their yard that they were raising to eat themselves, but if their neighbor comes and kills it, if they stand to gain more restitution by claiming it was a pet, will do so.

Secondly, emotions can, and do, vary wildly from one human being to another. I suspect that this is actually going to cause a very large problem in how a Libertarian society deals with rape, the damage of which is generally primarily emotional. You can't really claim that rape is an exception, because it is emotionally damaging to 100% of all people. There are some people such as myself, for whom rape by violence would actually be far less emotionally distressing than rape by fraud, or being lied to for sex.

I've been told, and very reluctantly agree with, the fact that the only restitution I would really be entitled to in compensation for being lied to for sex, would be financial. However, I really don't think the going rate for a prostitute covers my crying myself to sleep 3 nights a week for the next several years.

In addition, I also don't think that the emotions of the majority of women (who as I understand it would be more upset by violent rape) are somehow intrinsically more valuable than my own, such as that they are entitled to more compensation than I am, for the same sort of emotional problem. Placing the rights and emotions of some people, be they a majority or minority, above those of other people, is one major way that we got into the current bureaucratic mess we are in, in the first place.

This being the case, I think publicizing the truth is an excellent solution, one which would let the punishment fit the crime. Being widely known as either a violent rapist, or the sort of man who lies for sex is probably going to cause a severe reduction to a man's sex life.

I might also mention that this is the specific reason for which (I believe) some people do not like the idea of publicizing the actions of others, as a response to them. I can only think that either a lot of men are accustomed to frequently lying for sex, or that they think their friends and relatives are, and do not want to stop this practice, or for there to be any negative consequences for it.

In my own opinion, I don't think that allowing people to lie with impunity, or with only minor consequences, is compatible with a libertarian society. And this is true whether the lies are for the purposes of political gain, or for sexual or financial gain, or for any other reason.

Ann Morgan

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Re: "The Oft-told Lie" by Jim Davidson

The Cherokee are not even other. There has been a high degree of intermarriage between the Cherokee and the English, Scots, and Irish settlers in their territory that most of the Cherokee I know are apparently white. Most of us would not think of Winston Churchill as being Cherokee but he was. Just bringing this up to support your point that the concept of others is often a lie used to enslave us.

A.X. Perez

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Recently the Catholic Church and the US Bureaucracy got into it over whether or not the Church should pay for contraceptives for its employees. Of course the US Government cannot let this stand. Why if people could refuse to pay for the government using their money for purposes they consider immoral people might refuse to pay the portion of their taxes used to pay for wars, or gun control, or the so called war on drugs, or stupid fences on the Border.

This idea is not new. Joan Baez and others refused to pay taxes in the Sixties to protest the war in Vietnam. In the seventies Analog published a short story about people being able to tell the government how to spend the taxes they did pay (I guess if you can't get out of paying...).

Bill Maher even approached this point from the opposite point of view. He admits that he pays taxes and surrenders to the state the power to decide how the money is spent. He also subscribes to the theory that the War of Yankee Aggression was about ending slavery (It wasn't. It was a coup d'etat by Yankee industrialists against the Southern Planter Class. Slavery and customs duties were just pretexts. I got a feeling a lot of my friends and I are going to have to agree to disagree on this point.) Why this would matter to a slave so comfortable in his chains I haven't the faintest clue. (disclaimer. I recently settled a large tax bill because there was no way to get out of it other than going through a no knock raid by the IRS for them to loot whatever they wanted and claim it was to settle the bill. They had me ranged and bracketed and my engine rooms were out of fuel. He knelt willingly, I got knocked down.).

So let's hop the Church sets a precedent, not necessarily because we agree with her stand on contraceptives, but because we truly despise the Res Nostrae (government as Mob) taking our money, spending it for things we object to, and then having the nerve to tell us how to spend the rest.

A.X. Perez

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