Christmas, 2003

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 25 Dec 2003 13:00:00 GMT
From Laws of the Jungle:
"The two-party system is a shell game with two shells and no pea under either of them. The Democrats are symbolized by a donkey and the Republicans are symbolized by an elephant. But the two parties are a jackal and a vulture fighting over a corpse." -- Allen Thornton
Is anarchy more radical than democracy? Look at the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government..."

The anarchist has nothing more radical to say than this. He merely points out that all forms of government are destructive of the ends for which they are created and that the people have the right to abolish them without instituting any new governments.
The problem with the Bill of Rights is fairly obvious: If individual rights mean government wrongs, then some party outside the government ought to judge the government's actions. Such a party would be sovereign over the government, and hence a government itself, so that no one could judge it and it could commit the same abuses as the government. Any system of entrusting the government to judge and correct its own abuses is the same as appointing the accused criminal as his own judge and jury: Don't expect many convictions. Don't expect to see your rights protected strenuously.
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
The Latinate construction of the Second Amendment is vague enough for gun controllers to argue about, but it is fairly clear what the Revolutionary War veterans understood by the right to bear arms. They had just defeated the world's greatest military power and as long as they remained armed, no government, British or American, could tyrannize them again. The right to bear arms, from their point of view, was the right to overthrow governments. The weapons of the twentieth century include jet fighters, automatic weapons, nerve gas and nuclear bombs. If the government has them, the people have a right to own them too. Anything less is tyranny.
Some people say, "Anarchy's interesting but it won't work." Of course it won't work. Anarchy's not a machine; anarchy's not a system. Anarchy is merely society without the illusion of government; whatever comes of it, comes of it. And many events would happen in the absence of a state that you would find repugnant.

Government, on the other hand, sets itself up as a system or a machine. You put in your obedience and your tax money, and it is supposed to crank out security, justice and an end to poverty. No earthly government, however rich, however obedient its subjects, no earthly government has ever produced these desired results. Government's interesting, but it doesn't work.
One day, the very idea of government will seem like an insane artifact of the past: witch burning, crusading, black slavery, prohibition. Then the people will look back and wonder at the nature of man. Like Macbeth they will say, "Can such things be, and overcome us like a summer's cloud, without our special wonder?"

Kevin Tuma - Holiday - cartoon commentary on why you should make it a point to wish people a merry Christmas, even if you're not Christian. Hehe.

I wish you and yours a healthy, happy, and liberty-filled Christmas, Chanukkah, winter solstice, or whatever you celebrate in this dark time of the year.

I'm still a little sick, but it seems to be mostly out of my energy, leaving me to recover from 3 days of mostly bed rest and very little food. I'm not hungry yet, though, so it ain't completely gone. And there's a little cough that reminds me to spend enough vertical time to prevent pneumonia. Killer flu.

L. Neil Smith - The Spirit of Exmas Sideways - a "novelito" in the Probability Broach world. Neil wrote this two Christmasses ago. Worth a re-read. [smith2004]

Steven Mikulan at LA Weekly - Coffee, Tea or Handcuffs? - Yahoo copy here. Another homeland gestapo story that makes you want to make good use of the local lamp posts. I sent the following letter to the editor: [claire]

Steven Mikulan's "Open City" column for December 19-25, entitled "Coffee, Tea or Handcuffs" told the story of Sue Smethurst's mistreatment by America's new Gestapo. I have just a few words for the DHS goons responsible.

My silence is appreciated, eh? YOUR NAZI BLOOD IS APPRECIATED ON THE FLOOR!! And that's being nice.

Performance Aviation Marketing Group - The Flying Platform - a one-man helicopter with the flying roto underneath the platform on which the operator stands. Interesting. $50,000, requires sport pilots license. [smith2004]

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