DOWN WITH POWER
Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 952, December 10, 2017

It’s Time For a City On the Moon!

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Letter from Rob Gillelspie

Letter from Jeff Fullerton

Letter from L. Neil Smith


Letter from Rob Gillelspie

PETA Hilarity

Re: “A Whale of a Tale, An Open Letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”, by L. Neil Smith

Hello Ken, and Hello Neil

I want to thank you very much for reprinting Neil’s 2014 Thanksgiving essay mentioning “People” for the “Ethical” Treatment of Animals’ attempt to get an orca float banned from Macy’s parade.

You may be interested—or dismayed—to know that they think they’re trying to move up the evolutionary and legal ladder by trying to claim, in court (in California, of course) to actually represent an animal in legal proceedings.

This involves the long-ongoing case of David Slater, a British nature photographer (though not any more—look it up on Wikipedia) who, in 2011, at considerable personal expense, contrived to persuade some Indonesian macaques to take a lot of selfies, which he then self-published in a book about his adventures. These were then misappropriated by Wikimedia, and things got really stupid when PETA got involved.

I sent the following to PETA, inspired not a little by Neil’s Animal Rights chapter in Down With Power.

As a Canadian very interested in the concept of animal rights, I write to you to enquire about the recently settled (or not?) case of the 2011 selfies taken by the Indonesian macaque monkey using a camera belonging to one David Slater, and then possibly illegally appropriated by Wikimedia.

I read that, after a number of years of legal wrangling in the UK and the USA you—that is PETA—initiated a lawsuit in the US District Court for Northern California demanding that the macaque in question (although it appears there is some dispute as to whether PETA actually knows which one that was) be assigned copyright to the photos, and you—again, PETA— be appointed to administer any proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the macaque in question.

This is a very fascinating case to me, and I would be most interested to see a copy of the agency agreement the macaque in question signed authorizing PETA to represent him in this case (not to mention the no-doubt exciting story of how you got him to sign it).

This will be a true legal—and biological—first, and I look forward with great anticipation to your informative email response.

I will let you know what, if any, response I receive from the silly buggers.

Rob Gillespie
truenorthcomm.1775@gmail.com
Signatory to the North American Covenant
Signatory to the Atlanta Declaration

The women of this country learned long ago that those without swords can still die upon them
—Eowyn of Rohan

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Letter from Jeff Fullerton

Re: “A Whale of a Tale, An Open Letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”, by L. Neil Smith

Neil

This essay and the linked “Animals Are Property” at the end says almost everything I feel or think about people who want to use philosophy of common ownership of wildlife or animal welfare as a grab bag of excuses to run roughshod over property rights and personal liberties.

As much as have criticized and lampooned my own state agencies—I never had a problem with the idea of objective scientific management of wild resources which before the deep ecology fanatics started screwing around with—had a somewhat decent track record in the way of actual conservation and the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses is consistent with the idea of replacing taxes with user fees advocated by many libertarians.

As for the use of animals and natural resources in general: these activities are consistent with the basic human right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Or in the original intent of the Founders: Property. As you say: wild animals are unclaimed property that would be better off with human ownership. That is especially true of box turtles that end up getting smashed on the road. But the prevailing insanity is that they are better off dead than being domesticated. Of course they take the opposite view in regard to the freedom of other human beings.

There are probably more Chinese Box Turtles living in the USA than in the wild in Southeast Asia but Mr Kennan is right and the deep ecologists and animal rightists are wrong: alive in captivity is better than extinct. And there is nothing wrong with breeding endangered species for profit or personal gratification. I personally do it for the latter outcome and see the making of money as a beneficial byproduct that can help pay for the operation and increases the supply of healthy well started young animals to take pressure off wild populations and might provide stock to repopulate the wild in a future time when conditions in their native countries have stabilized. In other words the priorities of developing nations shift from immediate survival needs to interest in secondary issues like conservation. Many are already doing so.

Image 1

My CBTs are growing up and should be contributing to the continuation of their kind in a few more years.

Image 2

And I’m very confident I have at least one pair!

Jeff Fullerton
born2bewild1962@gmail.com

To which L. Neil Smith replied:

Nifty pix! And good thoughts. We need to get this straightened out, especially before science starts bringing back mammoths and maybe even dinosaurs!n Me, In want a trilobite in my aquarium.

L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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Letter from L. Neil Smith

A Surprise For Our Readers

Who’s Got the Sweetest Disposition?

Who’s got the sweetest disposition?
One guess—guess who!
Who never never starts an argument?
(Voice: Hmmmm?)
Who never shows a bit of temperament?
Who’s never wrong but always right?
(Donald: Yeah?)
Who’d never dream of starting a fight?
(Donald: That so?!)
Who gets stuck with all the bad luck?
No one… (Donald quacks angrily) but Donald Trump! (Donald: Yeah!)

L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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