Sam Aurelius Milam III
It's my understanding that the Bill of Rights is intended to protect people only from violations of constitutional "rights" by the government.1 The Bill of Rights doesn't protect people from violations of such "rights" by private parties. Thus, government officials are constitutionally prevented from conducting unreasonable searches. While there might be legislative obstacles to a private party conducting unreasonable searches, I don't believe that such searches by private parties are unconstitutional.
If my understanding is correct, then those searches that have been conducted of people's luggage at airports for all these years can be unreasonable and still not be unconstitutional, because the searches have been conducted by private sector security companies. Well, now, consider this. The government is federalizing all of those security services. Enter the Bill of Rights. Once airport "security" is in the hands of the federal government, the "security" force must prove, prior to a search, that the search isn't unreasonable — each and every search.
What I'm now hoping to see is some intrepid defender of liberty refusing the search process, demanding that airport "security" first demonstrate probable cause, show some evidence to a judge, obtain a search warrant....
|Training for Success
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Thirty or so years ago, when they were nationalizing the rail passenger service in this country, a good friend of mine complained that they were doing it wrong. They should, he said, make the railroads work the same as the highways and the airports. The airlines don't have to own and maintain their own airports. The government takes care of that for them, or at least subsidizes it. Commercial carriers on the roads don't have to build special roads for their trucks and buses. They use the same roads that everybody else uses, the ones that are owned and maintained by the government. My friend advocated that the government shouldn't nationalize the passenger service — locomotives, rolling stock, conductors, and so forth. Instead, he said it should nationalize the railroad, that is, the road itself — rails, crossties, ballast, tunnels, bridges, and so forth. Then, my friend advocated, any company that wanted to run trains could use the public railroads, just like any company that wants to run trucks, buses, or airplanes uses the public highways or the public airports. Now, thirty or so years later, red ink remains the official color of Amtrak and, at last, I'm hearing on the television occasional cautious hints at the approach advocated by my friend, thirty years ago. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't agree with my friend. I don't think the government should own the railroads. But then, I don't think the government should own the airports or the highways, either. I think it should all be privately owned. However, given the immense and seemingly immovable government subsidies for its competition, the only way I see that the rail passenger service can survive for now is if the government owns the railroads. In the short term, the choices are probably either that, endless Amtrak subsidies, or no more rail passenger service. However, I think that there's a better long term remedy.
Instead of nationalizing the railroads, privatize everything else. The airlines should have to pay for their own infrastructure. That doesn't seem too complicated in principle for the airlines, because they use an infrastructure that is pretty much separate from that used by other kinds of carriers. However, the highways appear to present a more complicated problem. How could the owner of a privately owned highway ever manage to pay for his highway, and still have it be accessible to the "public"? Over the years, Libertarians have advocated private highways, but they have never suggested a good way to pay for them. Toll roads is their favorite idea. Rubbish. That's typical Libertarian fare. Nobody wants to use a toll road. The idea doesn't solve the problem, but it does give the Libertarians a perpetual issue. That isn't surprising. After all, they are politicians.
Here's how privately owned highways can more than pay for themselves, easily. Consider this. When the prospective owner of a privately owned highway decides how much land to buy, he should buy a strip of land about 100 or so yards wider than he needs for the highway itself. Then, he has 50 yards of real estate along the entire length of his highway, on both sides. Anybody who wants a business on his highway will have to pay him for the privilege. Those businesses will be on private property — HIS private property. He can build a big fence along the edge of his property. Then, the ONLY access to all of those restaurants, fuel stations, motels, camp grounds, amusement parks, ATMs, homes, etc., will be from his highway. In return, those businesses will have captive customers — the people who use the highway. They won't have to worry about competitors because each business will be the only such business for however many miles the contract specifies. Either way, anybody who wants to use the highway will spend money in those businesses. That will more than pay the operating costs of the highway.
Anybody who wants to use the highway will be able to do so, absolutely free of charge. The more the merrier. The money will come rolling in. Such an enterprise would probably make Bill Gates green with envy. What's to keep it from getting out of hand? What's to keep the businesses from getting greedy, and charging too much? It's a big country. Fat profits will always provide an incentive for alternate highways. All we have to do is make sure that the owner doesn't somehow get the government to give him a monopoly or a subsidy. As a last resort, anybody who thinks that the highways are too expensive can always take the train.
the Candle at Both Ends
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I like to think of the Earth's planetary oxygen inventory as consisting of two portions: organic cycle oxygen and fossil fuel oxygen. Granted, the distinction is imaginary and the oxygen in each imaginary portion is identical, but I believe the distinction is useful anyway.
Organic cycle oxygen is oxygen that can be associated with the Earth's ongoing organic processes. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (along with lots of other chemicals, of course) follow very complex paths through these organic processes. Viewed simply, however, organic cycle oxygen is released by plants as O2 and breathed by animals. It is released by animals as CO2 and absorbed by plants.
Fossil fuel oxygen is oxygen that can be associated with fossil fuels. It was released ages ago, when the fossil fuels were deposited in the ground. If it is still being released, its rate of release is very low. For practical purposes, within the foreseeable life expectancy of the human race, there won't be any more fossil fuel oxygen released by the further formation of fossil fuels.
Organic cycle oxygen can be viewed as renewable. For each molecule of O2 that is absorbed by animals, a molecule of O2 is released by plants, at least on the average. For each molecule of CO2 is released by animals, a molecule of CO2 is absorbed by plants, at least on the average. Probably, the total quantity of organic cycle oxygen in the Earth's planetary oxygen inventory will remain nearly constant, at least for now.
Fossil fuel oxygen isn't part of an ongoing cycle, at least as far as the foreseeable life expectancy of the human race is concerned. What was released ages ago, when the presently existing fossil fuels were deposited, is all that there will ever be. When we burn fossil fuel, the associated fossil fuel oxygen is permanently removed from the Earth's planetary oxygen inventory and permanently converted to atmospheric CO2. Therefore, like the fossil fuels with which it can be associated, fossil fuel oxygen can be viewed as depletable. That is the sense in which I believe the imaginary distinction between the two different kinds of oxygen is useful — one kind is renewable and the other kind isn't.
We've all heard warnings about the possible dire consequences of the accumulation of atmospheric CO2. Maybe concerns about the Greenhouse Effect are credible and maybe they're not. I don't know. However, the recognition that part of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere isn't renewable suggests another possible problem: planetary oxygen depletion.
I don't know what fraction of the Earth's planetary oxygen inventory is provided by fossil fuel oxygen. Maybe that fraction is very small. In that case, oxygen depletion won't be a problem. However, if the fossil fuel oxygen represents a large fraction of the Earth's planetary oxygen inventory, then oxygen depletion might be a serious problem, maybe more serious than either the accumulation of atmospheric CO2 or the depletion of fossil fuels. I have never heard this concern mentioned by anybody else and I don't know if it's a problem or not. I don't know the numbers and I don't know how to calculate them. The various interactions are complex and beyond my ability to analyze. However, I think that the possibility should be considered by people who have the expertise to analyze such things. Otherwise, we might find out the hard way that we are going to run out of air to breathe before we run out of fuel to burn.
|Capability Equals Culpability
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I saw on the news recently where a man was arrested for having a couple of bombs in his house. There wasn't any mention, during the report that I saw, of any indication that he intended to do any harm with the bombs. He wasn't nabbed because of guilt by connection with terrorists, or threats against the Post Office, or anything else. It was just a routine traffic stop that for some reason led the Gestapo to search the man's house. By the way, there wasn't any mention, during the report that I saw, of a search warrant.
Once upon a time in this country, we had a presumption of innocence. A man wasn't guilty of something unless he actually did something. Now consider the fact that this man was arrested merely because he had a theoretical capability to cause harm. He had two bombs. Well, that very same sort of reasoning could be used, with just as much validity, to arrest me in connection with rape because I have a penis. What's the difference? He was theoretically capable of blowing up an FBI crime lab (maybe not such a bad idea, really). I'm theoretically capable of committing rape. So what? The theoretical capability makes us guilty?
Having a bomb doesn't necessarily cause any harm. Furthermore, there are constructive uses for a bomb. Not only that, there are different opinions of what is constructive.1 However, there isn't a presumption of innocence any more, but a presumption of guilt. If a man is deemed capable of some offense, then he's presumed guilty, a police state mentality.
Letter to the Editor
I am amazed. Where in the world have you been hiding all these years? I thought I pretty much knew of all the brilliant literary minds of our time who are awake. Your newsletters contain about the greatest material I've seen. I don't want to offend you by accusing you of having a great mind, and gift (tho I'm sure I would not be the first), but it's difficult to resist. And even just thinking minds that do little more than that these days, are hard to find. Why have I never heard of the Frontiersman, or you before Shirley (the Benevolent) referred you? ...
Needless to elaborate, I got your 102 issues; I see you never missed a beat, not even in relocating, for these 8+ years. Commendable. Please accept my immense appreciation for the NLs. A real gold mine. Quality. On target. Truth, Wisdom. Great teaching. The right length (not too much at once, like overly-rich dessert). Not to mention I can be heard cracking up with unrestrainable laughter late in the nite (Eg, Buck H, & The Right Rite, etc.). Laughter is such valuable medicine here.
Usually there's not time to read new items for months, but this is sooo good, I'm making sure I read at least one a nite even if it kills me with sleep deprivation. And stopping at one, takes IRON discipline. That good. (The proverbial presumption of prisoners having nothing but spare, bored time to kill, is pure lunacy. Try to picture if everything you needed to get done took between 80-300, or 2000 times longer to accomplish, because of maniac bureaucrats clogging up every single thing in life, to where it could not get done with less time than that, and the more efficient you are, the MORE they clog things up. I mean everything, even eating, sleeping and going to the toilet; as well as the big things: trying to access the courts, get mail, get educated, write, read, breathe (literally), etc. Only those who were dead before they got here could have spare time on their hands with all the interferences and hoops to jump thru; which accounts for about 90-98% I guess. Yours is one of the few things worthy of sleep deprivation and tradeoff of a little of my work time. Well worth it.
The original logo/masthead was incomparably better. Why the change? This one impresses as subdued in comparison. The original looked like not one to mess with.
I figure there are about 4 major things I disagree with you on; and about 1000 or so things we see eye to eye, which history proves is right. Isn't it nice to have the freedom to agree to disagree?
Are there many taxes on that one yet?
I'm guessing ID is better than San Jose. Los Gatos police are sort of a branch of SJ — they kidnapped me 19 years ago, and have been torturing me since. A thinking mind in here automatically triggers a computer-like programmed reaction of "kill/destroy" in the heads of the criminally insane psychopaths who oversee this zoo. Those without thinking minds have it
|pretty good here. A condensed version of
what they did outside, with a little more of their kind of "freedom" and
Commensurate with an article in your Nov 1994 NL, is a story of a prisoner I knew at San Quentin 1 1/2 decades ago. I have a sworn declaration from him, I'll try to dig out to send you sometime. He was a gifted writer, college kid. His only crime was being on probation for a bit of hemp, I think it was. For not pulling over his car fast enough, the SJ boys in blue, with some Los Gatos PD, in their psychotic, murderous minds, determined that it was worth plugging him with about 9 .45 and 9mm slugs in the head, hip, torso, and other places. Once down and handcuffed, just for fun, at point blank range, they shot him in the foot before dragging him across about 8 lanes of freeway cuffed from behind, thinking he was dead. He had enough fading consciousness to hear the cops trade guns and work up a story to cover up that the main shooter was on dope himself. The shooters had to "test" so they switched guns & shooters to keep the dope-head cop from being tested. I'm sure this is no surprise to you. You are awake. Wide awake. Richard's life and temperament were so destroyed with a big crater in his forehead, one eye blown out, limps badly over to one side, etc. — great pain, daily, forever. I know he was full of so much rage that eats up a man, to the point of suicide, I've no idea if he's survived to this day. Previously he was handsome, young, full of great dreams for a tremendous future. Oh, by the way, he only got about 8 or 12 years for his crime of being shot to pieces by the SJPD. It was while he was serving that term of further destruction of life, that I got to know him at SQ. He paroled, but his rage (misdirected) made him dangerous to those trying to help him, including my wife who I asked to help him with his legal matters, I had to separate them and never heard any more about him. That was many years ago.
If you ever want to hear my story, let me know. I shot an intruder in my home, called the LGPD to save him. Evidence (more than) "suggests" they shot him again after taking me to jail. The jury acquitted me of 1st degree murder, before convicting me of 2d degree. Even 1st degree, did not carry a full life (without parole) sentence. My parole date was 1992 ... even if I had been guilty. I'm still here. Guards and worse, arrogant administrators, simply write new fabricated reports whenever they whimsically feel the urge (which is often, because I just can't get the hang of not thinking) — each one extends my sentence indefinitely, another 5 years, 10, whatever. No trials, no nothing. Just a piece of bureaucrat paper saying [Glinie] did such-& such. The file on me now is over 9000 pages. That's good for about another few hundred thousand years. Tho I've never committed a crime. I know you are already awake, but this case may even amaze you.
I know you don't charge for your NL. But I still feel a little guilty asking, as I have no means for getting $. (Most prisoners who claim to be indigent are lying). There are about 15 people I specifically have in mind who I think would appreciate your paper. It's too good to part with the 1-each I have, and I can't get copies. If you can send some for this purpose, I'll send them out hoping some might be thrilled enough to send a little contribution your way. I'm sure the days are coming when they will no longer allow it to come to me in this city of evil. So, I'll get this task done while the gettin's good, as soon as I get the papers, if you care to send any selections you choose.
I have a question that's been on my mind for years, and I can't find the answer. Maybe you have an opinion. Maybe there is literature on it. Do the psychotic power maniacs from the like of Stalin, Ceaucescu (sp?), Clinton, etc. down to the lowers on the rung, (the pathetic bureaucrats with inflated heads) — do they know what they are? Do they ever have an awareness they are sick, maniacs, evil, etc.? or do they really think they are saviors of humanity, etc.? Even when they mass murder, as those above named, do they really not realize they are doing something wrong? In the fantasy worlds they live in in their minds, do they really not see their criminality? I know from being around lowlife criminals that they are fully aware of their criminality and evil, but I have long sought the answer to whether the BIG ones, like most politicians, etc., are aware of their status that is clear to those who are their victims (or at least their victims whose minds work).
Thought you might have some answers. I'm sure you have thought about it; possibly there are some insightful commentaries on the subject?
Wish I could be of enCOURAGEment. We need a lot more like you. Thanks. Blessings.
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
What's your opinion of Pit Bulls?
— Apartment Dweller
Dear Apartment Dweller
I've never heard of that breed. I'm a Holstein man, myself.
Cancellations — If you don't want to keep receiving this newsletter, print REFUSED, RETURN TO SENDER above your name and address, cross out your name and address, and return the newsletter. When I receive it, I'll terminate your subscription. You may also cancel by letter, e-mail, carrier pigeon, or any other method that gets the message to me.
Back Issues — Back issues or extra copies of this newsletter are available upon request.
Reprint Policy — Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this newsletter in its entirety or to reproduce material from it, provided that the reproduction is accurate and that proper credit is given. Please note that I do not have the authority to give permission to reprint material that I have reprinted from other sources. For that permission, you must go to the original source. I would appreciate receiving a courtesy copy of any document or publication in which you reprint my material.
Submissions — I solicit letters, articles, and cartoons for the newsletter, but I don't pay for them. Short items are more likely to be printed. I suggest that letters and articles be shorter than 500 words, but that's flexible depending on space available and the content of the piece. I give credit for all items printed unless the author specifies otherwise.
Payment — This newsletter isn't for sale. If you care to make a voluntary contribution, you may do so. The continued existence of the newsletter will depend, in part, on such contributions. I accept cash, U.S. postage stamps, prepaid telephone cards, and so forth. I will accept checks or money orders only by prior arrangement. I don't accept anything that requires me to provide ID or a signature to receive it. In case anybody is curious, I also accept gold, silver, platinum, etc. I'm sure you get the idea.
— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor