The Near Side of the Line
And the Rest of the Story
Sam Aurelius Milam III
The Merry Minuet
Written by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by The Kingston Trio, 1959
They're rioting in Africa.
They're starving in Spain.
There's hurricanes in Florida,
And Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans.
The Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs.
South Africans hate the Dutch,
And I don't like anybody very much!
But, we can be tranquil and thankful and proud, for man's been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day, someone will set the spark off, and we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa.
There's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us, will be done by our fellow man.
A recent news program reported that there are more than 80 million refugees in the world, people who've been driven from their homes by fear, desperation, or hatred. I thought that I must have heard the number incorrectly, so I watched a different news program. It reported the same number. I still didn't believe it, so I did a quick search. I found the website of UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency. That website reported that there are at least 82.4 million refugees in the world. With a world population of about 7.8 billion, according to the Population Clock, 82.4 million refugees comes out to more than 1% of the entire world population. Did I do the math correctly? I did it again, several times, trying to get a different answer. It came out the same, every time. It doesn't seem possible but, if I'm doing the math correctly, and if UNHCR and the Population Clock are credible, then more than one out of every hundred people in the world is a refugee. It takes a lot of fear, desperation, and hatred to turn that many people into refugees. How can it be that bad? The Merry Minuet suggests a clue. It suggests that a refusal to tolerate differences is in our genes, and that it isn't going to go away.
And now for the rest of the story. I had a neighbor, once, who refused to ride with me because he rode a Harley and I rode a Honda. Maybe The Merry Minuet is correct. Maybe people will use any excuse, however silly, to be intolerant. It might be possible to reduce such intolerant behavior by making it illegal. For example, maybe we could force Harley riders to ride with Honda riders. That seems like a stupid idea, but that's exactly the kind of thing that the reformers keep doing. One problem with such forcible control of our behavior is that, in order for the reformers to justify it, they have to construe the behavior in question as being harmful. That might be acceptable if they were correct about the behavior, which can be a matter of opinion, and if they'd stop there, but they don't. If they manage, by way of their activism, to require all of the rest of us to tolerate them, then they start to feel superior. It isn't sufficient, any longer, for us to tolerate them, and to stop harming them. They continue their activism, demanding that not only must we tolerate them, but that we must also approve of them. We must like them.
Even if we do have an obligation to tolerate homosexuals (just as an example) and to treat them courteously, that still doesn't mean that we also have an obligation to approve of homosexuality. Approving of something is a whole different thing then tolerating it. When a demand for toleration becomes a demand for approval, then a line is crossed. On the near side of the line is fair treatment for some segment of society. On the far side of the line is propaganda, the coercive manipulation of our beliefs in favor of the complaining faction. It might be justifiable, maybe, sometimes, to regulate our behavior to protect such a group of people from being mistreated. It's never justifiable to forcibly adjust our beliefs, just to make that group of people feel better. It's a simple truth that, as far as toleration is concerned, approval doesn't even enter the equation. Toleration is a relevant concern only when the people involved don't like each other. We might have to tolerate people that we don't like but, if we like somebody, then toleration isn't an issue. That simple truth provides an important lesson for all reformers. The LGBTQ reformers appear to be the current crop, so I'll use them as an example.
LGBTQ reformers are justified in trying to protect their people from being
mistreated. They're not justified in trying to forcibly correct other
people's disagreeable (to them) beliefs. They need to accept the
fact that some people just don't like them, and that those people have
as much right to their opinions as the LGBTQ reformers have to theirs.
If they want people who don't like them to tolerate them, then they must
tolerate the people that they don't like. Otherwise, they're not
promoting toleration. They're promoting a self-serving hypocrisy.
I expect that the LGBTQ reformers, like all reformers, think of themselves as having good intentions. We need to be cautious about that. As Heinlein commented in Glory Road, good intentions are the cause of more folly than all other causes put together. If the LGBTQ reformers want to actually improve things, and not just to be the next group of evangelists, trying to forcibly impose the next new orthodoxy, then they need to be more enlightened than other reformers have been, and less arrogant.
Nobody can predict the results of their efforts, but consider the record of other reformers, and remember that evangelism persists, as does incrementalism. People with good intentions can come to believe that they have a holy mandate to save the world. The list of horrors that have been perpetrated by such people is endless, and they never make things better. They create desperation, hatred, fear, and refugees. We already have at least 82.4 million refugees. We don't need any more. Reformers need to recognize the line between protecting themselves from mistreatment, and forcibly imposing their beliefs on others. They need to stay on the near side of the line.
Finally, this is from the "for-what-it's-worth" department. If those LGBTQ reformers really know what's good for them, then they'll add a black stripe to that flag of theirs. Haven't they been paying attention? Don't they know that black stripes matter?
As Paul Harvey used to say, that's the rest of the story. Good day.
Letters to the Editor
With the Biden Regime coming to power, the government appears to be amping up the repression with its new War on Extremism, i.e., the War on Drugs/War on Terror extended to all patriotic and liberty loving Americans.
Is this the same-old same-old policy, or are we seeing something new being rolled out?
What do you think Americans can do in response?
Yours in liberty,
J. M., of Northridge, CaliforniaPS: enclosed are some stamps. Keep up the good fight.
In the miniseries Amerika, Soviet Colonel Andrei Denisov said, "Your young people [are] attacking the symbols of power they can see.... They resist in ways that make them feel good, not those that actually accomplish anything...." To that observation, I can add a few comments of my own.
Reformers almost always address the symptoms and consequences of problems, without even being aware of the actual problems. See my article Problem One, in the July issue. There are different opinions about why. My father claimed that people are just naturally stupid. I tend to believe, or at least to hope, that people actually can think, but that the process is usually impaired by false assumptions and misinformation See Enemies of Liberty, in the April 2011 issue. In Kodachrome, Paul Simon sang, "When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." If my father was right, then there isn't any hope. If I'm right, then the situation isn't entirely hopeless, just mostly so. I've spent about half of my life gambling on the difference. It's a long shot.
Here are some suggestions for anybody who wants to do something that's actually useful. Such a person needs to unlearn all of the stuff that's been forced into his head since he was a child. He needs to go back to the beginning, start over, and educate himself. My Ravings Essays would be a good place to start. They're available in Pharos.
Just so you know, whenever I finish a Frontiersman, I pass it out to be read by whomever wants to read it, and believe it or not, a great many, around 90% make it back to me. That tells me that most people regard what you write as like literature, say like a book, and a book you don't throw away like a newspaper, a book you keep. So, I was reading through all of the Frontiersman I've saved over the years, and one caught my eye.
The September 2020 issue, in particular, the "A Fictional Speculation" article. Now Sam, I know before you went all Ted Kaczynski, (minus the Unabomber things), you were a smart man. Military, engineer, etc, and over the 80 plus years you've been on this planet, you've gained a tremendous amount of wisdom. But, I think the universe has also blessed you with prophesy. That article was so close to what
|Trump tried to do. We are lucky he tried
to organize his insurrection like he runs his businesses, immoral and bankrupt.
He used a bunch of racists and retards who had no organization and lacked
The more I research Trump's run and election of president in 2016, the more I'm convinced he studied the biographies of people like Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Nixon, etc. I know you're old enough to remember the comedian George Carlin, back in the seventies, during a stand-up routine he said, "when fascism comes to Amerika, it will be wrapped in an American flag and carrying a Bible." Once again, Carlin must be a descendant of Nostradamus. What's amazing is how many followers still believe Trumps "Big Lie", of election fraud. I know a lot of anarchists who, because of Trump's tyranny, they voted for the first time in their lives, and for Biden, a Democrat....
Since Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden, we have leaders who govern by executive order. Our country has become divided, and the chasm has become like the Grand Canyon. And almost 99% of Americans have become sheeple. Half are red, the other half blue. And the real culprits are getting away with the biggest swindle in history. They're stealing Amerikkka. Who? The rich!
And the real problem is we've given up so much control to corporate America, the ultra rich, and smart technology/artificial intelligence. I don't see a way out of this mess. Like Stephen King's novel "The Stand", we need a virus to kill off 99.6% of the world so the survivors can pick up the pieces and start over.
Any who, Sam, stay well.
S. H., a prisoner
Actually, I'll be 75 years old this year, not 80.
Since you were interested in A Fictional Speculation, in the September 2020 issue, you might also be interested in the predictions that I made about the virus, near the middle of page 3 of the April 2020 issue. Regarding your suggestion about The Stand, and getting out of this mess, consider that we already have the virus.
About Trump, don't forget that Hitler spent time in prison and still became der Führer. Maybe it isn't over yet.
Regarding executive orders, they're all unconstitutional. See In Search of the Supreme Flaw of the Land: Separation of Powers. It's available in Pharos.
editorGender Studies 101:
Introduction to Gender Equality
Sam Aurelius Milam III
If he doesn't ask her where she's going, then she'll complain that he doesn't care about her. If he does ask her where she's going, then she'll complain that he's too controlling.
If he doesn't work overtime, then she'll complain that he isn't trying hard enough to support the family. If he does work overtime, then she'll complain that he isn't spending enough time with the family.
What he earns belongs to both of them. What she earns belongs to her.
If she can't sleep because of his snoring, then he'll have to sleep on the couch. If he can't sleep because of her snoring, then he'll have to sleep on the couch.
He has to leave the toilet seat down for her. She doesn't have to leave the toilet seat up for him.
What she learned from her past relationships is experience. What he learned from his past relationships is baggage.
He's expected to be a good man according to her definition. She gets to be a good woman according to her definition.
After the divorce, if she takes the children without asking, then she's rescuing them. If he takes the children without asking, then he's abducting them.
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Steve S.
A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
911 is government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
Colt was the original point and click interface.
Gun control isn't about controlling guns. It's about controlling people.
If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
Guns have two enemies: politicians and rust.
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; Sir Donald the Elusive; and J. M., of Northridge, California.
Signs That You're Getting Older
From the Women's Dictionary
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor