The nitwit position seems to be that it's OK for people (including children) to die for the benefit of US policy but not OK for them to die for the sake of opposition to it. Maybe it's just OK for children to die in Iraq but not OK for them to die in the USA. In either case, hypocrisy reigns.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I've noticed something in the documentaries about ancient cultures. Whenever the researchers discover evidence that the people in some ancient culture engaged in the practice of killing selected members of their group, there's a determined effort to explain the practice in some way that is as far different as possible from the things we do ourselves. The usual explanation is that the victims in these ancient cultures were sacrificed as part of some religious ritual. We don't do that anymore. Look how much better we are than they were.
On the other hand, maybe it depends upon what you mean by victim, sacrifice, religion, and ritual. Nobody wants to consider that human culture might not have improved much in the past 4000 years, that ours might be fundamentally like theirs, or that people today are no better than they were then. Consider this. What if those ancient people were engaging not in ritual sacrifice, but in capital punishment?
Supporters of capital punishment have certainly made a religion out of it, and "justify" executions as necessary. The people in ancient cultures must have had similarly strong feelings about their executions. We can sanitize our executions with things like electric chairs and lethal injections. In previous cultures, they were limited to "brutal" things like clubs, knives, and fire. We publicize our executions by announcing them over our high-tech media. Maybe they publicized their executions by staging them in a large public facility. If a religious temple was the best "broadcast facility" available for sending "the message", that doesn't necessarily mean that the execution was a religious practice. None of these differences justify the arrogant position that we are somehow "better" than those people were. They killed their "undesirables". We're killing Timothy McVeigh.
There's nothing wrong with self-esteem, but a fine line distinguishes it from arrogance. The difference is the accuracy of our estimate of ourselves. Self-esteem is a great virtue. Arrogance is a great fault. We won't improve our own culture by lowering our estimate of other cultures, whether they are in Iraq today or Peru 2000 years ago. We will improve our own culture by improving ourselves.
by Sam Aurelius Milam III
The Constitution of No Authority (an excerpt)
I. The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago.1 And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. And the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. It is not only plainly impossible, in the nature of things, that they could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument does not purport to be an agreement between any body but "the people" then existing; nor does it, either expressly or impliedly, assert any right, power, or disposition, on their part, to bind anybody but themselves. Let us see. Its language is:
... The language does not assert nor at all imply, any right, power, or disposition, on the part of the original parties to the agreement, to compel their "posterity" to live under it. If they had intended to bind their posterity to live under it, they should have said that their objective was, not "to secure to them the blessings of liberty," but to make slaves of them; for if their "posterity" are bound to live under it, they are nothing less than the slaves of their foolish, tyrannical, and dead grandfathers.
It cannot be said that the Constitution formed "the people of the United States," for all time, into a corporation. It does not speak of "the people" as a corporation, but as individuals. A corporation does not describe itself as "we," nor as "people," nor as "ourselves." Nor does a corporation, in legal language, have any "posterity." It supposes itself to have, and speaks of itself as having, perpetual existence, as a single individuality.
Moreover, no body of men, existing at any one time, have the power to create a perpetual corporation. A corporation can become practically perpetual only by the voluntary accession of new members, as the old ones die off. But for this voluntary accession of new members, the corporation necessarily dies with the death of those who originally composed it.
Legally speaking, therefore, there is, in the Constitution, nothing that professes or attempts to bind the "posterity" of those who established it.
If, then, those who established the Constitution, had no power to bind, and did not attempt to bind, their posterity, the question arises, whether their posterity have bound themselves. If they have done so, they can have done so in only one or both of these two ways, viz., by voting, and paying taxes ....
Letters to the Editor
Can't let Flag Day pass without telling you I thought your June issue was the very best! Especially page 2 — if you want some specific comment, Anarchy, Monarchy, Malarkey.
Bet you'll have some good comments on the Denver trial next time (McVeigh, who else?)
— Shirley: Urbana, Illinois
Net Watcher's News
— Silicon Valley BobNews Flash About Beer — Scientists in the USA recently revealed that beer contains small traces of female hormones. To prove their theory, they had 100 men each drink 12 pints of beer and observed that 100% of them started talking nonsense and couldn't drive!!
— Running Bear
Only smarter than the editor.
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor