— Alexander Fraser Tytler, Scottish economist, 1776
Do voters vote for a candidate who tells them that they need to work hard, save money, contribute, sacrifice, and tolerate the different attitudes of others? Of course not. Voters vote for candidates who promise them cheap medicine, food, fuel, or whatever else they might want, and who promise to punish other people, with different beliefs, of whose behavior the voters disapprove. Among the results are lazy intolerant voters, powerful repressive government, phoney "money" in an economy based on the vapor standard, and prisons full of innocent people.
Apologists for democracy like to claim that it isn't perfect, it's just the best system available. That, of course, isn't much of a recommendation. Democracy doesn't need to be very good in order to be better than the various authoritarian alternatives. However, I have a better idea.
Instead of elections, why not have selections? By that I mean officeholders could be chosen by lot. Just let the candidates put their names "in the hat" and then choose winners by drawing names. Well, why not?
Since there wouldn't be any need to win votes, then there wouldn't have to be campaigns. With no more campaigns, there wouldn't be any more campaign promises, campaign finance problems, or political parties. Those and all of the other evils of elections would be eliminated. The results might not be any better, but they probably wouldn't be any worse, either.
How can the selection process be controlled, so it's fair? I have the answer to that, too. Every name that goes into the hat constitutes a contractual obligation — and this part must be constitutionally specified, so it will be immune to legislative and judicial tampering. Every name in the hat is an obligation. Every candidate who doesn't get selected for the office for which he made a bid must serve, for the duration of that term of office, on the Selection Committee. It will be the job of the Selection Committee to run the next selection. Thus, if somebody feels that he was cheated by an unfair selection, he has the opportunity to correct the problem next time around. Furthermore, he knows that he'd better do it right, because the people who lose during his stint on the Selection Committee will be running things the time after that. All the incentives in the system will tend to promote a fair and impartial selection process. That's a far cry from the incentives built into the present election system.
There's one final issue. Who can be a candidate? Anybody except current Selection Committee members — felons, pedophiles, children, women, priests, Muslims, Jews, even lawyers. That, also, must be constitutionally mandated, or the reformers will prohibit participation by some despised minority, and then the whole system will deteriorate. Given universal access, there will never be any segment of the population that will go for long without representation. The more aggrieved the members of a segment of the population feel, the more of them will throw their names into the hat. Again, the incentives are such that the system will inherently correct any injustices that might arise.
Will it happen? Of course not. Only the people would benefit. Only the present "establishment" would be harmed. The present system will never allow such a thing to happen.
|To Each His
Sam Aurelius Milam III
The recent commotion regarding misbehavior by Catholic priests has really caused a frenzy among the anti-pedophilia crowd. Now they'll point with righteous glee and demand an ever increasing authority to monitor and regulate everybody else's behavior. Nobody seems brave enough to stand up to them or to question their assumptions.
I'm not familiar with the consequences of "molestation" among young boys. However, I've had several girlfriends who were "molested" when they were young and, without exception, I haven't observed any indication of any physical harm resulting from the "molestation". I've seen lots of emotional harm, but no physical harm. Most people seem unwilling to acknowledge the distinction or to ponder its implications.
If sexual "molestation" didn't cause any physical harm in the cases that I observed, then it seems that sexual "molestation", in and of itself, doesn't necessarily cause physical harm. It seems equally obvious that the emotional harm isn't caused by the physical behavior but by the emotional context in which such behavior occurs. It's caused by the covert manner in which the behavior is conducted, the threats, the fears of discovery, and the horrified condemnations when the behavior is discovered. Such an emotional context would cause emotional harm to result from almost any form of behavior. Harm caused by sexual "molestation" doesn't have much to do with the fact that the behavior is sexual. It has a lot to do with the immorality and perversion that have been arbitrarily assigned to such behavior. Such reasoning suggests the belief that the harm isn't caused by the adult who engages in sexual "molestation" but by the adults who previously defined such behavior as despicable, and by others who condemn such behavior and all involved, when the behavior is discovered.
The proscription against sexual "molestation" isn't based on sound biological or psychological facts. It's based on religious assumptions regarding sin. It hasn't been imposed for the good of the children, but for the sake of evangelism. The results haven't been beneficial. They have been terrible. So, here are some suggestions. Let's quit punishing the "molesters" and, instead, focus on solving the problem. We can begin by addressing the undue influence of the evangelists who have imposed their assumptions regarding sin on everyone else. We can also review the arbitrary age limits defining the difference between children and adults. We won't solve the problem overnight, but we can begin. In the end, sexual activity involving young people might turn out to be a pleasant experience for all involved, and not harmful at all. People can then restrict activities of their own children, or not, according to their own beliefs. To each his own. What a wild idea.
Laissez Faire Flea Market
|Letters to the Editor
I just got a letter from the California Department of Transportation. It contained a survey saying that since I had been driving on Highway 14 (near Edwards Air Force Base) at thus and so time, could I rate how things were on the road. And while I am at it, tell them some "facts" about my life.
So how did they know I was driving there and at those times?
Some new surveillance technology??
Welcome to the land o' the free...
— Joseph; Burbank, California
This letter was in response to "Judicial Imperialism", April 2002.
Hi Sam. ... I just reviewed your latest version of the April Frontiersman. I like your front page article, however, it got me thinking.... I recently saw an educational program about the Roman empire, and the similarities between the modern "New World Order" and Rome of the Caesars is amazing. Then as now, a PRETENSE of local sovereignty was maintained — but it was only a fiction, designed to lull the masses into thinking that Rome was a Republic, etc.
— Sir Donald the Elusive
A good newsletter. I especially like your reply to Thomas R Richards <email@example.com>
— Sir James the bold
This letter was in response to the story "Ladies Man", April 2002.
The scary thing is that without "conditioning" we are getting to where you described in the story. Perhaps you ought to submit it to Playboy or something?
— Joseph; Burbank, California
There is a quiet hate crime in america. It is very cleverly designed to divide the population almost in half. The hate mongers first demonize the victims so that there is little public outcry when they strike. It's alright sir, you just have to wear this armband with the yellow star of david on it for your own protection. It is coming into the final stage even now, the stealing of massive amounts of personal possessions, the mass incarcerations and the attempt to isolate them from the "good" people. There is no public outcry against this crime, oddly enough it is the "good" people clamoring for even more arrests, and it is the government committing the crimes. We are systematically robbing a segment of the population of their freedom, their money and even their self respect. We steal so much from them that some of them are forced into violent crime just to survive. As soon as this group has been silenced they will select another victim to divide the population once again, will it be your group? Will there be anyone left to help you if is? It is time to stop this crime, pay back the victims and incarcerate the real criminals, congress and the department of justice. They have certainly built enough jail cells lately to handle the load. Even now, somewhere there is probably a covert factory making armbands with a marijuana leaf on them. There are solutions, one is to stop buying american products until all the "sin" laws are repealed. more can be found at email <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Thank You,
Incrementalism works. It worked in converting rights into privileges. It is now working in reducing privileges. It is even working in using the tax laws to modify behavior. The congress has a game they like to play. It is called imposing sin taxes for fun and profit. Want to reduce the use of alcohol and tobacco? Impose a sin tax. Want to reduce the use of sugar? Impose a sin tax on soda and candy.1 Does it work? No. It just makes it more expensive. What is next? Sin taxes on coffee and tea? Perhaps when things get this much out of hand there may be a new tea party and we may be voting for representatives to a Constitutional Convention that will be expected to create our next government.
May the future be kind to you.
— Sir James the Bold
• My thanks to The Thought, of Glendale, Arizona and to The Affiliate, of Vankleek Hill, Ontario for printing reviews of the Frontiersman.
• My thanks to Lady Helen the Gracious, Lady Shirley the Benevolent, Sir James the Bold, Sir John the Generous, and Sir Donald the Elusive for their assistance.
• New California law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, and baseball bats be registered by January 2036.
Buck Hunter Shoots Off His Mouth
I know a lot of people curse their computers, but I didn't know the computers were supposed to be able to curse back. Maybe you should just count your blessings.
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor