Their Choice

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 07 Sep 2004 12:00:00 GMT
From kaba:
"The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." -- H. L. Mencken

From saltypig:

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." -- Thomas Sowell

From libertyforall:

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." -- John Stuart Mill

# Mary Starrett at New with Views - Shut Up and Take Your Drugs - Bushnev's new "Freedom Commission on Mental Health" will do for your psychiatric "freedom" what his war on terror has done for your civil liberties. Anyone who attempts to force any member of my family to take psychotropics will discover that I have an anger disorder that will be very hazardous to their health. [lrtdiscuss]

The Bush administration, long tied in an unholy, generational alliance with the pharmaceutical companies, hopes to pattern this massive effort to get more Americans on drugs after the Texas Medical Algorithm Project (TMAP) in effect since 1995. This summer the British Medical Journal, daring to do what no U.S. publication would do, showed the connection between the pharmaceutical industry and the dangers associated with the TMAP program. Investigators and medical professionals were fired for calling attention to the abuses (including patient deaths) associated with TMAP. Under TMAP it was not unusual for some people to be placed on more than five psychiatric drugs at once.

What will happen under this national push to gain more market share for the drug companies? As with TMAP, people refusing drugs for what are diagnosed as a wide array of "disorders" can expect not only to be forced to take powerful and extremely dangerous neuroleptics, but also to receive shock treatment.
I posted my "anger disorder" sentence above to lrtdiscuss and someone responded with a better idea:
I have heard of a more neutral approach.

Anyone who attempts to force psychotropic drugs on any member of my family will know they have, by their actions, volunteered to a valid contract with me for their assisted suicide. Their Choice.

# Cryptome - NCS Telephones Cryptome - It's not a good idea to lie to someone who has friends who are professional investigators. Hehe. [cryptome]

# TriggerFinger - Putin Says Russia Faces Full 'War' to Divide Nation - some advice for Russia's president about how to fight terrorists (and especially how not to fight them). I wish America's president would listen to this advice. [triggerfinger]

We have learned that it is easy to pass laws that restrict civil liberties under a terrorist threat. We have also learned that it is useless to do so. There are many protestors, dissenters, and petty criminals, but there are few terrorists. Do not be distracted by shadows, Vladimir. Focus on the terrorists.

Combine these aggressive tactics with a distributed defense by allowing your people the right to arm themselves and to carry firearms with them as protection. Soldiers and police cannot be everywhere your people are. But your people are already everywhere. You can trust 99% of your people to handle a gun for self-defense safely, if they are given simple, basic training in gun safety. The people you cannot trust with a firearm are the same people who have no intention of asking your permission before carrying one.

If you cannot summon the courage to give firearms to your people, then give firearms to your pilots and your schoolteachers. That is better than nothing. You will not regret it. Trust your people, and they will trust you.

# The Daily Reckoning via Liberty Forum - American Eagle... - terrorists pose no threat whatsoever to America, but Bush/Kerry will very likely lord over its suicide. [libertyforum]

Kicking the scrawny butts of nearly unarmed Third World nations is not the sort of thing that epic poems and granite monuments typically celebrate. Besides, when you are the world's only superpower, it's not courage that you's prudence. You just don't want to do something rash or stupid. But that seems to be what both parties are bent on.


But Nature has to have her matter what we think. America cannot continue to be the world's only superpower, for Nature will not permit a monopoly for very long. And yet, no foreign nation is strong enough to offer a serious military challenge - at least not yet. So the U.S. of A. must ruin itself...and needs leadership that is up to the task. In Bush and Kerry, America seems to have found its Louis's Nicholas II, its Theodosius, Rome's last emperor. In Bush and Kerry, America has found leaders worthy of a nation of happy hallucinators.

What is astonishing to us is the way both parties have become war parties. We predicted it; but we are still surprised by it.


Of course, the nation is in no danger at all. A handful of murderous fanatics represent a threat to Americans - along with muggers, rapists and reality TV - but not to America itself. Only by reacting to terrorists in an absurd and hysterical way can the nation defeat itself.

Bush and Kerry have come forward just when Nature needed them...

Spend, spend, spend...fight, fight, fight...from the comic to the tragic...America creates her own calamity...

# Lawrence W. Reed at FEE via Liberty Forum - An Open Letter to Statists Everywhere - a few questions from Peter for those who believe in robbing Peter to pay Paul. Followed by some good discussion of private security. [libertyforum]

At the start of the 1900s, government at all levels in America claimed about 5 percent of personal income. A hundred years later, it takes more than 40 percent--up by a factor of eight. So my first questions to you are these: Why is this not enough? How much do you want? Fifty percent? Seventy percent? Do you want all of it? To what extent do you believe a person is entitled to what he (or she) has earned?

I want specifics. Like millions of Americans planning for their retirement or their children's college education, I need to know. I've already sacrificed a lot of plans to pay your bills, but if you're aiming for more, I'm going to have to significantly curtail my charitable giving, my discretionary spending, my saving for a rainy day, my future vacations, and perhaps some other worthwhile things.

I know what you're thinking: "There you go again, you selfish character. We're concerned about all the people's needs and you're only interested in your own bank account." But who is really focused on dollars and cents here, you or me?

Why is it that if I disagree with your means, you almost always assume I oppose your ends? I want people to eat well, live long and healthy lives, get the prescription drugs and health care they need, etc., etc., just like you. But I happen to think there are more creative and voluntary ways to get the job done than robbing Peter to pay Paul through the force of government. Why don't you show some confidence in your fellow citizens and assume that they can solve problems without you?

# Jeff Head - Special Note about the Availability of Volume V of Dragon's Fury - The MSReader eBook should be available very soon. The Adobe eBook version is expected to be approved today and available on the 14th. The trade paperback version should be approved on the 10th and available within two weeks thereafter. Watch the Volume V home page for updates.

# Steven Greenhut at The Orange County Register - Fortress New York - the sekurity at the Republican convention was a good preview of what life will be like in an Amerikan police state, says Mr. Greenhut. [claire]

I tired of the daily hassle of getting into the Marriott Marquis, the Times Square hotel where the California delegation was staying. Even though it is a dozen blocks from the convention site, the security was stiff. Two police officers manned a checkpoint at the sidewalk, while 10 or more police stood beside their motorcycles. At the checkpoint, all guests had to show their room key or photo ID.

Then, about 50 feet nearer the door was another checkpoint, where security guards checked the ID once again. The area between the checkpoints was surrounded by metal barricades, so there was no possible way that anyone could have sneaked in between those checkpoints, unless they jumped out of a suitcase. Don't expect reason to prevail in a police state.

From Checkpoint No. 2, hotel guests went another 15 feet or so into the front door, where two burly security guards again checked the same ID. At the lobby area, one had to again show ID to enter the elevator area, where one could finally get back to the room.

The guards didn't want to hear any grumbles. One doesn't question procedures in a police state.


Whenever I criticize intrusive government actions or misbehavior by police or federal agents, someone will say: "If you didn't do anything wrong, you don't have anything to fear." Well, I certainly didn't do anything wrong as I obediently navigated the inconsistent and intrusive security rules that governed life at the GOP convention last week, but I would greatly fear a world that operated in a similar way.

# Bob Wallace at Endervidualism - The Shield and the Sword - bringing the myth of Ares and Athena into the modern day. [militant]

Here's where we badly need some mythic updating. In the past, Ares was just the god of war. Today, if we apply some libertarian theory about the difference between the State and Society, he becomes much more than a mere serial killer: he's now the god of the State. All States, being based on coercion and the threat of violence, are always about war. Indeed, they are always at war, because no matter what it gets involved in, no matter what its good intentions, it will only create conflict.

Just look at the "war on drugs," which has increased crime, or the "war on poverty," which has increased broken families, or the "war on terror," which has increased hatred against the US. The State is Ares. And being Ares, he is a bungler, as all States are bunglers.


Athena is armed with a sword and a shield, named Aegis. The shield is the important thing: it had the head of the Gorgon depicted on the front of it, which turned to stone anyone who looked upon it. Her shield, which was created by technology, is both an offensive and defensive weapon. Against what? Apply libertarian theory again. Her shield is for offense and defense against the State. Against Ares.

The point of the myth of Athena is that Society must always have defensive and offensive weapons against the State! It can be no other way. The Founding Fathers understood this, when they created the Bill of Rights, especially the Second Amendment, which has two purposes--as a defense against the little criminals known as people, but mostly as a check on the big criminal known as the State.

# R. Lee Wrights at Liberty for All - Understanding the Loss of Freedom - most people want liberty for themselves, but nowadays they don't trust other people enough to grant their liberty. And government has deceived us into believing that it can take the place of caring neighbors. [saltypig]

It is really a matter of trust that has almost done as much damage to Lady Liberty as the ever-present fear that others might have "too much" freedom. As little as thirty or forty years ago Americans still trusted each other. They trusted their neighbors and their neighbors trusted them because they watched out for each other. Americans trusted their media outlets and news sources were widely excepted as respectable organizations that told the truth. Americans also trusted their politicians. They trusted them so much that they returned representatives time and again while they built the greatest government on the face of the planet. A gargantuan beast has been raised by this misplaced trust.

People have learned to turn to government for every remedy. Americans, in particular, wrap themselves completely in a cloak of false-security provided for them by a bloated bureaucracy. People allow themselves to be categorized with numbers that must be produced, to any State official, on demand upon every random request to inspect their papers. They rush to their elected officials seeking aid for every human malady and begging for restitution for every perceived violation of a principle ambiguously called the greater good. They show disregard for the freedom of others and sacrifice their own liberty in the process. Indeed, most Americans take government to bed with them at night and snuggle up to it as if it were a big, fuzzy teddy bear; and, they see it around them all the day as a grand guardian angel.

# Joel Spolsky - It's Not Just Usability - on the importance of software's "social interface." [joel]

Now, let's look at a successful social interface. Many humans are less inhibited when they're typing then when they are speaking face-to-face. Teenagers are less shy. With cellphone text messages, they're more likely to ask each other out on dates. That genre of software was so successful socially that it's radically improving millions of people's love lives (or at least their social calendars). Even though text messaging has a ghastly user interface, it became extremely popular with the kids. The joke of it is that there's a much better user interface built into every cellphone for human to human communication: this clever thing called "phone calls." You dial a number after which everything you say can be heard by the other person, and vice versa. It's that simple. But it's not as popular in some circles as this awkward system where you break your thumbs typing huge strings of numbers just to say "damn you're hot," because that string of numbers gets you a date, and you would never have the guts to say "damn you're hot" using your larynx.

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