The text of California Proposition 209 is available from the Frontiersman upon request.
John Webster; http://www.vikora.com/CWS/jwebster/
In response to those who have written and who feel that "female circumcision" is child abuse, I would like to state that there is an important difference. These parents really do care about their children and they really do believe that this is best for their children. This makes it distinctly different from cases where the parent will cripple the child to get more money for themselves in pan-handling at the child's expense.
I would point out that while female circumcision may in fact not be best for the child (and I for one strongly believe that it is not), you do not change the well intentioned parent's actions through laws enforcing the standards of the majority's culture. Instead, all you need is to present to those parents the information and evidence that shows that indeed their intended actions are not best for their child. If the parents still persist in their beliefs and actions then maybe they know something about their child, their culture, and morality in general that you and I don't know.
I would also state that in libertarian theory many of the "Rights of the Individual" are not realized in the child until that child asserts its rights. So if a female child asserts her rights by running away from home to avoid female circumcision or any other "child abuse" (real or imagined) then no one has the right to force that child to return to her family.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Airline safety activist Victoria Kumic recently advocated1 that decisions about airline safety regulation should be left to the families of accident victims. Don't be absurd! Those are the worst people for the job. They're so disabled by grief that they can't think rationally about the subject. They'd sacrifice the pitiful remaining vestiges of our liberty for safety? Revenge? If anything, they should be excluded from the discussion.
With This Ring, I Thee Dread
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I once predicted that the child welfare fanatics wouldn't be satisfied with coerced child support payments but would eventually pass laws forcing fathers to marry the mothers of their kids. I recently heard the advocacy2 of tougher standards for divorce for couples with children. When the standards get tough enough then divorce for parents will, in effect, be prohibited. After that, it will be a small step to require that unmarried parents get married or be punished if they don't.
|The Wrongness and Rightness of the Unabomber
Don J. Cormier
What is the Unabomber saying in his Manifesto? Following is a brief summary of the Manifesto's contents:
There are a number of flaws in all this. The Unabomber ignores the fact that there have existed many societies that were both low-tech and repressive.* A few examples are the Roman Empire, Pharaonic Egypt, ancient Sparta, and the society of the ancient Polynesians. These examples demonstrate that totalitarianism is not an exclusively modern problem.#
It's true that the combination of advanced technology and wasteful consumerism have caused environmental degradation, but to simply and suddenly give up science and technology would cause the degradation to become worse. Any realistic attempts to undo environmental harm require scientific understanding and, often, the use of advanced technology to deal with toxic waste. Scientific knowledge would especially be needed to safely dismantle and dispose of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
The Unabomber claims to love freedom, but he does not trust people to use freedom wisely. He claims that unless we abolish technology, people will inevitably abuse it to commit physical and/or spiritual suicide. The argument is analogous to the one put out by gun control advocates, and it is just as arrogant. The Unabomber and the gun control advocates both claim the right to use force to prevent others from exercising free choice.
One final negative point is that, even if one concedes that the Unabomber's goal is good, the mail bomb strategy is a preposterously bad way of achieving it. The nearly random killing of a handful of people cannot change the steamroller course of a civilization which is actively supported by millions of people.
The Unabomber is wrong is some ways, but he is right in others. He is right when he states that society satisfies some needs and desires at the cost of repressing others. Freud said much the same thing, back in the late 30's1.
The Unabomber is correct in describing the environmental problems caused by overpopulation and the misuse of technology. Many environmentalists have investigated and publicized these problems.2
The Unabomber is correct in warning that various technologies are developing which could someday turn the the mass of humanity into puppets controlled by some ruling elite. Many distopian authors have been examining this possibility for years.3
The Unabomber is "right" about something else which may be less obvious. Although the strategy of the Unabomber is not altogether logical, there is an underlying coherence to the Unabomber's actions. He hates the world as it exists in reality and wants to live in a different world which could exist in reality. Therefore, in the grand tradition of Pol Pot and Walt Disney, the Unabomber has taken direct steps intended to make his vision real. Relatively few radicals living in the U.S.A. today can take credit for having the same practical integrity. It seems that the majority of radicals today fall into one of two mistaken groups armchair rebels and activist lemmings. The armchair rebels understand their goal, but take few or no practical steps to realize it. The activist lemmings do a lot, but lack a clear understanding of what they want to accomplish. The rightness of the Unabomber is the balanced relation of his ideas and actions.
The Unabomber has sensitized a lot of people to "terrorism" and tainted many otherwise valid objections to modern society. The government couldn't have bolstered its own positions and damaged the opposition's positions more effectively if it had orchestrated the bombings itself. Suppose that's what actually happened. Maybe the bombings were all staged by the federal government, which has both the means and the motive. Maybe Ted Kaczynski is just a convenient and unfortunate scapegoat. How would we know otherwise? Remember Shirley's Law: When dealing with government, you cannot be too paranoid.
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
Notice I said "raising" children, not "having" children. Children should not be seen as something that someone or some couple goes out to "have", like one would have lunch or acquire some possession considered to be de rigueur. Of course this attitude is simpler than sitting down to think about everything a child needs or might need to become a fully developed human being, bursting with potential and with no lifelong emotional scars. It's much too easy to say "Well, a lot of this stuff is government's job". Well, I've got news for you. The government is never going to do all a child needs, although a bona fide culture might, because the government won't, can't, or has an agenda that is not in the child's best interests.
Since I know all of you fertile breeders are too busy trying to figure out how to have more things, I've made a list for you of conditions that are not just nice sentiments and "good ideas if convenient or time permits", but absolute "musts" if we are going to stop pumping out babies that are soon to be abused, neglected, and under developed educationally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
1. Backup "parents" In some religious traditions these are called "godparents". Where the church is strong enough to be the core family's "community", the godparents commitment is written down and they attend important events in the child's life. But their major function is to step in if one or both of the biological parents bites the big one. Of course, who says this has to be done in a religious context?
2. Regular third or fourth family member commitment This was usually an extended family in the same household or neighborhood. They could be grandparents, a spinster aunt, or very close family friends. They are a yell away and are on call for whatever. They are committed to helping raise your child. What, you don't know anyone who would do this? Then don't have a child. Get a dog.
3. Live in an intentional community context In undeveloped societies this comes naturally. But in our individualized, isolated, production cog, mindless consumer existence, we will have to work at it. People need to be in close proximity and interact on a regular basis with other individuals and families who have some legal overlap in their lives for the purpose of realizing a common goal, common lifestyle, or mutual aid. Committed communitarians create a safe environment of people with different skills and experiences to raise children in. The main reason almost no one does this is because it is a major hassle. I would not insist on such a major change for the disinclined childless. But for raising children the right way (although communities have infinite variations) it is a must, so do what you have to do.
4. Invest in education Most people would find this the most reasonable idea, but I'm not talking about a "reasonable" amount of education. I'm talking: throw the TV in the trash, read to the children regularly, buy periodicals and books books books. Don't give them that "But we have public libraries" unless you live next door to one and it's open till midnight. Home-school or pool with other parents for a "community school". Buy equipment for hobbies. Pay for music lessons. Conduct "family meetings". Most important of all, educate yourself broadly so you are not ignorance personified. Get involved in community activities so that you can involve the children in community activities.
If the best you can do is push them off to a public school or a private clone then don't have kids, but do help raise those of other parents when you can. There are too many vacant stares now where wonder should be.
5. No violent or self-destructive behavior And I mean no slip-ups or excuses. I don't care how much pressure you feel you are under and what the rest of the world is like. The home should be a sanctuary for children. Improve yourself so that you have achieved Zen-like peace and control at all times or give someone else's kids your "good" days.
Now, who still wants to "have" children?
The Golden Principle Nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
On the Road with Buffalo Hunter
Buff was traveling in England a while back, and since he didn't have his ol' pick 'em up truck with him he rode the bus a lot. He was waiting at a bus stop one evening when a young English lady approached the bus stop and dropped her parcels on the sidewalk. Buff was giving the lady a careful but discrete appraisal when, without warning, a powerful puff of wind came out of nowhere and blew her skirt right up around her, uh, topside.
The lady pushed her skirt back into place and tried to pretend that nothing had happened, but an icy quality had settled over the silence at the bus stop. Buff thought that some light comment was in order and, forgetting briefly where he was, ventured the comment, "Kind of airy out this evening, ain't it?"
The lady snapped "Ya was expectin' feathers!?!"
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor
|Text of California Proposition 209
obtained by fax from the Shasta County Clerk
4:56 PM, January 21, 1997
Amendment to Article I