The Right Stuff, But Not Enough Of It
Sam Aurelius Milam III
The O.J. Simpson trial, now fading into history, was remarkable primarily for its visibility. Its violations of the underlying principles of traditional jurisprudence were absolutely routine. Among these principles are Burden of Proof, Presumption of Innocence, and Freedom from Self-incrimination. When Shapiro and those other clowns advised Simpson to give DNA samples in "cooperation" with the prosecution, they were advising him to provide information that might be used against him and to attempt to prove his innocence. This relieved the prosecution of the sole burden of proof, which was thereafter shared by the defense. It also removed the presumption of innocence. That is, if a defendant is trying to prove his innocence, then he isn't being presumed innocent. This kind of defense has become routine. Consequently, any refusal to provide information is viewed as tantamount to an admission of guilt, the assumption being that an innocent man will always cooperate because he has nothing to hide. Such a belief is a fatal compromise of the principles of traditional jurisprudence. If the principles are to endure, then they must be rigorously applied in all cases, regardless of the actual guilt or innocence of the defendant. Although Simpson "won" his criminal case, liberty lost again.
Few cases are as visible as Simpson's, but most of them share its defects. My so-called case embodied many violations of principle. The court ignored my strenuous objections to those violations and ruled against me for "failure" to appear. I didn't fail to appear. I refused to appear. There's a big difference, but the court ignores that kind of thing. The court created an "account" to which I allegedly owed money. Because I refused to pay, the court encumbered my home with a lien. Eventually, I was placed under surveillance and arrested when I left home. After being presumed guilty, I was forced to provide information (blood sample) that was used against me. After failing to prove my innocence, I was forced to either "voluntarily" sell my home, and give the county the money it wanted, or stay in jail forever. I was convinced that I could be kept in jail forever.
Clearly I didn't do this for the sake of expediency. Cooperation would have been easier. I was attempting to enforce the principles which form the foundation of liberty. However, there's a problem here. It's easy for the government to defeat one lone libertarian. Liberty depends upon the consensus and behavior of many people. I tried to defend liberty alone and lost my home. The court got the money it wanted and lost nothing. I had no effect on it at all. It remains a tyranny today. Unless my actions motivated some further effort by somebody else in favor of liberty, they were largely a waste of my resources. My integrity is intact, but I'd like to think that I had some positive effect in the larger scheme of things. I'm hoping that others will consider the many cases like mine and conclude that it's time to stop cooperating with tyranny and start resisting it.
The Next Generation
The hippies of the 1960's are becoming grandparents. The children of the flower children have grown and are having children of their own. Assuming that some of the hippie values of the 1960's have been passed on, what would be the most fruitful path for 1990's hippies and their children?
There are five things which might be useful for the further propagation of flower power.
Those hippies who grew up in intentional communities of various types, or in remote wilderness areas, should continue to teach their children how to live in alternative, close-to-nature ways. However, they should also teach their children how to understand and use the most up-to-date features of modern technology. Knowledge of technology translates into power. Without power, people might not have the ability maintain their good ideas and moral values.
No society can exist out of the context of a healthy environment. Hippies who fit the stereotype already understand this, but the rest of society is in vast need of education. Hippies who care about their future, and the future of their children, should devote time and energy to environmentalism.
The 1960's hippie advocacy of non-violence is still valid, if only because violent revolution seems to be a losing strategy in this age of military super-powers and mass over-dependence on government infrastructure. All types of non-violent resistance to injustice should be taught and encouraged as a way of lessening the need for and the validity of the police and military authorities.
Hippies should continue to explore and promote consciousness raising techniques, such as various drugs, herbs, and forms of meditation. Many of the drugs which were popular in the 60's turned out to be dangerous and debilitating, but the fundamental idea of obtaining a new perspective on reality by chemical means remains useful.
Perhaps the most important insight of the 1960's was that the dominant U.S.A. culture was and is repressive. The idea that the U.S.A. is the "land of the free" is an Orwellian Big Lie. End of the century hippies need to keep teaching that true freedom and freedom under the flag are two quite different things.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help the ongoing project of greening America.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Premise: The U.S. government and the governments of the American states can LEGITIMATELY exercise ONLY powers delegated to them by the people.
Premise: People can delegate ONLY powers that they have themselves. If they do not have a power, then they cannot delegate it to a government.
Observation: The governments are exercising the power of capital punishment.
Choice of Conclusions: If you accept the premises, then EITHER people have a legitimate power to kill one another OR the governments are exercising an illegitimate power, beyond those delegated to them, when they exercise the power of capital punishment.
— Black's Law Dictionary, 1979Allodium .... Land held absolutely in one's own right, and not of any lord or superior; land not subject to feudal duties or burdens. An estate held by absolute ownership, without recognizing any superior to whom any duty is due on account thereof.
— Black's Law Dictionary, 1979Feud. Land held of a superior on condition of rendering him services ....
— Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1889
|News from the Libertarian Party
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— Forwarded by Millie, of El Granada, CaliforniaDo you have any privacy left when Big Brother can spy on you from space — or through your walls?
WASHINGTON, DC — Spy satellites. Gamma ray scanners. Thermal-imaging devices.
It's not science fiction — it's a list of the exotic, high-tech surveillance equipment the government now uses to monitor, track, and arrest American citizens, the Libertarian Party pointed out today.
"Yesterday's science fiction has become today's political reality," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national chairman. "High-tech military equipment that was once used against foreign armies is now being used against American citizens on a routine basis."
As a result, the Fourth Amendment's protection against "unreasonable search" is under technological siege, he warned — and government agencies are rushing to take advantage of this new power.
"Most people don't realize it, but law enforcement agencies are now spying on us through the walls of our houses, taking high-resolution photographs of us from space, and conducting drug tests based on trace elements of chemicals in the air," said Dasbach.
Paranoid fantasy? Not at all: Such high-tech surveillance equipment is becoming an increasingly common tool for law enforcement, according to reports in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.
Here's a sampling of how state and federal agencies are using this terrifying technology to spy on Americans:
• In North Carolina, county governments use high-resolution spy satellite photographs to search for property improvements that might increase property tax assessments.
• On the Mexican border, police use a "gamma ray scanner" to check tanker trucks for contraband, scanning right through the vehicle's metal sides.
• The Naval Surface Warfare Center has developed an "ion sniffer," a metal box that analyzes the chemical makeup of the air — and can detect, for example, traces of cocaine through the skin days after drug use.
• In Georgia, the state's Department of Revenue will start using NASA satellites to examine the state's 58,910 square miles for illegal timber cutting.
• In New Jersey, California, and other states, police use thermal imaging devices to scan houses for unusual heat sources that could indicate indoor marijuana growing operations. Houses can be scanned while police sit in their cruisers on the street.
• And in Arizona, the state's Department of Water Resources uses spy satellite photographs to monitor 750,000 acres of state farmland, and compares the images to a database to discover which farmers don't have irrigation permits.
Even worse: The federal government will spend another $4.5 million this year to develop even more intrusive surveillance equipment.
Currently under development by the Justice Department: A "super x-ray" — combining traditional x-ray technology, ultra-sound imaging, and computer-aided metal detectors — to reveal items hidden under clothes from up to 60 feet away.
The courts are currently wrestling with the implications of the new technology, debating the limits of the government's power to "search" individuals from a distance with high-tech gadgets. Several contradictory court decisions have already emerged, for example, about whether thermal-imaging searches are Constitutional.
Meanwhile, Republican and Democratic politicians continue to look for new uses of the technology — with some government officials already talking about using satellite surveillance to track items as small as backyard porches to check for zoning violations and construction permits.
"In the name of fighting crime, politicians seem eager to obliterate the protections against unreasonable search, with equipment that Americans used to only read about in Tom Clancy technothrillers," said Dasbach. "It's time for the American public to wake up and realize that Big Brother is here today — and he's got a gamma ray scanner in his hand."
Letters to the Editor
I don't think the Bhopal disaster was Dow Chemical. How about Union Carbide?
— Steve; San Antonio, Texas
This refers to my article The First Step Is Responsibility, in the February issue. I apologize for my error.
With great writers such as Mr. Cormier and yourself, the Frontiersman is ready to take it's next step in growth. Why not send an issue of the Frontiersman to one of the many talk shows (e.g., Oprah), and get yourselves on a show to talk about one or two controversial issues? With such publicity, I am sure your readership would increase tremendously. This would greatly enhance your influence, and may open the door to second careers in politics. Of course, you could also begin selling advertising in your publication. What do you think?
— Tom; Redwood City, California
I can agree with Cormier's article this month to a large degree (Unearthing the Earthly Paradise). There are certain reservations. 1) Increased population made agriculture necessary. The whole world could not live as hunter-gatherers today. 2) There are certain aspects of advanced society that advanced human beings would not want to give up: culture and technology. The superior man would be even more bored as a hunter-gatherer than he is struggling against the idiots who run advanced society today. 3) It's unfair that superior man should have to give them up to escape these idiots, and 4) If all the superior men went savage, the idiots would have no restraints at all, and would blow up the whole planet — including the superior men in the forest.
That said, what Cormier is talking about as solutions makes a lot of sense: 1) zero population growth, 2) preservation of nature and all living species (and the resuscitation of extinct species, such as the woolly mammoth, and possibly the dodo and the great auk — that's a project I would enjoy working on), 3) decentralization, 4) development of clean technology. These things could create a "New Eden" even more fun than the primitive Eden of the hunter-gatherers — at least for us cerebral types.
Part of the solution is for the workers to take over the corporations. The only thing stopping it? Your old nemesis, the government, with its police state and military. Workers could of course vote for a government which would help them take control of the corporations, gradually. Why don't they? That's the question!
— Elliot; N. Merrick, New York
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
I'm worried. What can I do after I'm "over the hill"?
Dear Thirty-Nine something
— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor