Letters to the Editor: January 9, 2004
Praise for Berntson
Ari, thank you for John's fine article. John writes well and logically about the difference between rights granted on paper and rights embodied in our hearts. Better yet, John Berntson does not just identify a problem, he offers a solution: "We must talk to people." A long, hard road to be sure. Still, it is refreshing to have an idea so well presented and then a solution offered to the problem identified.
You would do well to have more of John Berntson's clear thinking and excellent writing in the Colorado Freedom Report.
-- Tom Preble, January 2, 2004
Your Own Leader
'Junk' politics is right! In this age of propaganda (not the age of information as some think) what can one expect? After Clinton and his use of bull... to seduce people into believing anything, I am not surprised that we have a pack of rabble running for president.
What a joke.
All of this only illuminates something Laurens Van Der Post, author of The Seed and The Sower, in his last days. "We don't need any great leaders any longer, we need to lead from the inside, each and every person must be his/her own leader."
Leadership, as such. is taking us some where into the future, leader-ship points to something, a possiblity, and offers us a future to live into.
Who could believe that in this democracy we would take seriously anyone who would say "a war on drugs"? There is no war on drugs; we are having a civil war over whose drugs and whose drug usage is a ligitimate activity.
So far everyone who participates in this war has lost. First they lose their way, then they lose their common sense, then they lose their freedom.
The drug pushers who get your money and make you a slave to the objects of your idolatry are the greedy money grubbrers in this entire affair.
Exercise your liberty; reject the mindless pursuit of control and domination.
-- Russ Shaw, January 1, 2004
You've given it a lot of thought. Your method of argument sounds like someone trained to argue in a religious institution.
Why do you say near the end, "at least so long as they don't inflict gratuitous harm on animals"? I farm (beef) and agree completely with the statement. But why are we obliged to be kind to animals? Is this not a right of animals? I take it to be a statement of the highest moral importance, both to the animal, and to me.
You may or may not be aware of the fact that abuse of animals makes them less valuable. It is well known in the industry that bruises and injection sites where they have not been given properly ruin meat, injured hides are a loss, frightened behavior makes them hard to handle, and constantly frightened animals are called "dark cutters," which have meat that is not fit for the showcase. So there is an element of self interest in treating animals properly. But that isn't an adequate reason for this "right."
The real reason is that it makes the individual handling the animal coarse. It reflects his outlook on life, the way he treats other people personally and in business. Not being a considerate is a form of gratification that make him or her (love that political correctness in this case!) less human.
You teach rights to your children, how they must respect others, how others have rights: not to abuse other children, to be patient with elderly, to follow direction from appropriate adults. This starts early and continues until they leave the home. You do this because it makes them a better person, more able to get along in life.
To many this seams like a "weak force" nature for "human rights" or "natural rights." Many people seem to need some compulsion, usually the laws of the state, to define rights. Religion will also work nicely for this purpose. But don't forget that the weakest force in physics, gravity, works at the greatest distance and holds the Universe together. I think improvement of the individual respecting rights is the basis of rights.
-- S.T. Bond, December 26, 2003
I liked your "review" a lot, but I do not include myself with the Boomers. Mick Jagger is not a Boomer!
The Boomer generation started after 1946. That means that their leading edge was less than 14 years old when the Beatles started playing their songs, and 10 years old when Chubby Checker sang The Twist. Their generation did not create those things.
To learn about where Individualist segued into Libertarianism, read A GENERATION DIVIDED, The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s, by Rebecca Klatch.
I describe my generation as the Revolutionaries. We were also the Counter Culture. Our generation was aborted by WWII, so only lasted about 15 years. It was a small generation -- because of the Depression and the War -- but what it did was amazing.
The Boomers are only tag-alongs. Don't attach me to them!
-- Louise Lacey, January 2, 2004
[Editor's note: In his book In Praise of Decadence, Jeff Riggenbach defines the "baby boom generation" as "persons born during this period (1946 to 1964)" (page 17).]