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L. Neil Smith's
Number 811, March 1, 2015

Live Long. And, Prosper!

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Down Like Dogs
by L.Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Humankind and caninekind became best friends somewhere between eleven and sixteen thousand years ago, according to Wikipedia. As a student of history and archaeology, I've always believed that it was longer ago than that, but for the time being, let's accept that number.

There are various theories about how that friendship came to pass. We always used to imagine a Stone Age hunter killing a she-wolf, then finding her litter, taking them home, and raising them with one degree of success or another. More recently, somebody has suggested that, when a pack nosed its way through a human garbage heap, the wolf that didn't run was the father, or mother, of every domestic dog that followed.

I like that theory, but I just learned that genetics indicates that dogs are descended from a wolf species that has since gone extinct, and not the wolves that are with us today. I don't suppose it matters.

Dogs have made themselves useful over the centuries. They're good companions, they offer us more or less unconditional love, they fetch birds we've shot, they warn us of intruders and even fight them off (which is why the cowards in federal law enforcement will shoot your dog first before taking you on). They'll keep you warm at night, and even provide you with a midnight snack if you're Korean or an ancient Aztec.

My real point here is that, over most of those eleven or sixteen thousand years, one rule has been observed stringently. When a dog turns, and bites a human being, he dies. Period. Early Man didn't know he was selecting for a more thoroughly domesticated companion, but it worked, right up into the current Age of the Weenie, when it's thought to be cruel or barbaric. When a dog turns, and bites a human being, he dies.

Now consider the Federal Communication Commission (no, I am not changing the subject). Almost a century ago, it might have seemed to some like a good idea. Except that broadcasters themselves had solved their problems with each other, or were well on the way. The FCC was like the rooster in the fable that thought his crowing made the sun come up. All the FCC did was make everything harder and start imposing religious-based censorship on the people doing the work. It also prevented innovation. Color TV was ready to go in the late 1940s, but the namby-pamby commissioners didn't like the particular technology involved.

I won't go into what a bad thing federal control of the Internet will be. Everybody on the 'Net and on the air is doing that. Just consider everything we've accomplished over the last two decades, and how our lives have been transformed for the better. Just a few years ago, I thought it was marvelous that I could call my daughter at home with my cell phone from the car, and she could find us a hotel room for the night in flooded Iowa. Now I could do it, myself, with my smartphone or my tablet. My phone is many times smarter than my first computer.

We've done more than fine without regulation, which is an old, Progressive Era idea, anyway. Everything has to be counted and licensed. It's like King George III counting trees. But I'm not going to waste time or effort—I don't have much of either left—carping at every little rule. By illegally ursurping authority over the Internet, the FCC has turned and bitten human beings. And now it has to die. I want the FCC abolished, and every one of the principals in this scheme to stifle freedom severely punished with long prison sentences.

Until then, I will avoid, evade, or simply break the new, illegal regulations, and encourage and assist others to do so. I will not comply. And as soon as the 'Net goes orbital, I'll be right there. It's time to reacquaint ourselves with John Peter Zenger (look him up).

Now consider the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. I've asked many times (and never gotten an answer) how a country with a First Amendment in its Constitution tolerates something like the FCC. Now I ask how a country with a Second Amendment tolerates the BATFE, which has been biting human beings for decades. It's time both these vicious entities were put down like the dogs they are.

If we don't, they will bite us again and again.

Your congressthing, from Maine to California, will ignore you when you demand the abolition of these institutions, as useful as they have proven to be to statists. But unless you've given up and just want to crawl in a hole, write or call him (or her) anyway, and when he fails to respond the way you want him to, immediately begin recall procedures.

He may want to know why.

This general process is what I have in mind for the Privacy Party and the whole Bill of Rights but these issues are hot, just now. As soon as they learn that encroaching on our freedoms is going to cost them something every time, the unlamented Progressive Era will be over.

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