Plastic Politics


Earlier today (August 15, 2018) I sent out two tweets intended to cause trouble for my political enemies — totalitarians who want to leave no aspect of human life — even the most trivial — free from their commands.

The first:

https://twitter.com/jneilschulman/status/1029905033742172160

J. Neil Schulman
@jneilschulman

Why do progressives want to ban non-biodegradable plastic straws, grocery bags, and rubber balloons, @TuckerCarlson, but would go crazy if San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland legislated that condoms are a hazard to wildlife and condom possession brought fines and jail time?

6:37 PM – 15 Aug 2018

The second:

https://twitter.com/jneilschulman/status/1029906776827809792

J. Neil Schulman
@jneilschulman

Planned Parenthood is destroying the environment and murdering ocean wildlife by passing out nonbiodegradable condoms! @greggutfeld @TuckerCarlson @JesseBWatters @andylevy @nickgillespie @billmaher @iamjohnoliver @colbertlateshow

6:44 PM – 15 Aug 2018

tweet

I’m not a conservative. I don’t oppose Planned Parenthood passing out condoms or even arranging for abortions.

As a libertarian I’m Pro-Choice. The determination of when human life begins — or doesn’t — can’t be taken by the State without violating fundamental human rights.

As a student of religion I note that the religious anti-abortion movement is historically revisionist, based on a modern premise identical to the atheist’s: that only biological gestation — not the inspiration of the immortal soul with a baby’s first breath, as the ancient Hebrews believed — determines when human life begins.

But we live in an age when consistency of one’s political premises is replaced with any momentary expedience. If it diminishes the capitalist bourgeoisie to deprive them of plastic grocery bags, drink straws, or birthday balloons, leftist-dominated cities like Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco are more than willing to ban plastic items with fines and jail time attached for violation, on the grounds that such small items when multiplied by millions of others harm ocean wildlife.

Fine. You want to play it that way, right back at you.

Ban the non-biodegradable plastic condoms that protect against HIV and keep gays alive. Biodegradable sheepskin condoms don’t.

You want to make plastic politically toxic? Pay the political price of killing the gay community and bringing back the AIDS epidemic from the last century.

Make the gays your enemy.

I dare you. I double dare you.

Or leave the personal use of plastic items out of your totalitarian grasp and shut up about that, you lousy crats.

Bookmark and Share

Anarchists Versus Anarchy

Greg Gutfeld: I challenge you to respond on either The Five or The Greg Gutfeld Show.

Back in my salad days as a libertarian activist, in Fall 1974, I organized the first-ever conference on countereconomics – CounterCon I – featuring Samuel Edward Konkin III as keynote speaker. In May, 1975, Sam, who supplemented his income as a graduate student in theoretical chemistry at NYU by doing commercial typesetting, typeset for me a full-page ad for Countercon II — featuring both Sam and Robert LeFevre — that I wanted to buy, advertising the second conference in the newsletter of Laissez-Faire Books, then a brick-and-mortar bookstore on Mercer Street in Greenwich Village, founded by Sharon Presley and John Muller.

The headline for the ad was, “Will You Survive Anarchy?”

Keep in mind that all of us – Sam, Sharon, John, and I – were all anarchists. Yet the ad was focusing on the chaos that a collapsing above-ground economy — due to government overspending leading to monetary hyperinflation – could cause.

Sharon Presley rejected the ad because it was using the word “anarchy” negatively. The ad as revised and run was stupid and missed the point, reheadlined, “Will You Survive Anomie?”

Since 1974 I’ve established a solid reputation as a writer of books, journalism, Op-Eds, humor, academic essays, commercial copyrighting, fiction, poetry, blogging, tweeting, and screenwriting. A quick look at my bio confirms how I’ve frequently been honored by world-class celebrities and icons – including Nobel-prize-winner Milton Friedman and an Academy-Award winner Charlton Heston – for my writing.

So from my vantage point as a wordsmith going back over four decades – and still an anarchist – I can safely say that my pejorative use of “anarchy” in an ad intended for anarchist consumption was correct.

Welcome to Customer Service

In an article now an afterword to the latest edition of my 1979 novel Alongside NightAlongside Night the Movie Edition – I wrote the following:

In common usage the word “anarchy” is a synonym for chaos and anomie, just as in common usage “anarchist” is a synonym for terrorist or nihilist.
It places an immediate communications burden on anyone who believes, as I do, that a stateless society can be not only as well-ordered and agreeable as any society which attempts by a constitution to limit the powers of government for the purpose of ensuring common individual rights, but in theory could do a better job of preventing a reemergence of tyranny.

I start this essay with a challenge to the Fox News Channel’s Greg Gutfeld because – like Bill O’Reilly before him – Mr. Gutfeld applies the word “anarchist” to the scum who use violence, destruction of private property, and fascist tactics of intimidation against their political opponents.

I’m an anarchist who, after decades of principled non-voting, decided to cast ballots in presidential primaries and races for Ross Perot, George W. Bush, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Gary Johnson, and Donald Trump.

I watch the Fox News Channel more than I watch CNN or MSNBC.

I wrote in that same afterword:

Yes, that’s right. The revolution only succeeds when the Anarchist is more for law-and-order than the Statist.

As an anarchist thoroughly conversant with the history of anarchists and anarchist movements, I think it’s well past time for the word “anarchist” not to be equated with lawlessness, communism, violence, and nihilism. Of course there are those calling themselves anarchists who are better described because of their actions as fascists. That is nonetheless true of those who call themselves every other label, including liberals and conservatives.

I’ve made it easy for the Greg Gutfelds to know what this particular anarchist thinks. Read my books available on Amazon, both fiction and nonfiction.

Read my blog posts and my many articles in The Libertarian Enterprise.

I have two movies — Lady Magdalene’s and Alongside Night, which I wrote, produced, and directed — currently streaming on Amazon Video / Amazon Prime.

Greg Gutfeld, as a fan of yours if nothing else, I deserve more attention, if not respect.

So do many other anarchists who overlap with you in the values of common sense and common decency, which you’d know if you paid attention.

Bookmark and Share

Mars Pirate Radio Interviews J. Neil Schulman on The Fractal Man and Multiversal Living

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 143

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142 Logo

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 143 Logo

Episode 142 and 143 of MPR feature Parts One and Two of Doug Turnbull’s July 16th interview with J. Neil Schulman.

During this interview Turnbull and Schulman discuss The Fractal Man, his newest SF novel.

They also discuss at some length, the concept of the multiverse that is an important feature of the novel, and how this concept fits into Schulman’s personal experience.

It is quite a spirited discussion and Turnbull thinks you will enjoy both parts.

Bookmark and Share

Conversation on Democratic Socialism

An excerpt from my novel in progress, The Metronome Misnomer.

Cover: The Metronome Misnomer

“Five seconds,” said the stage director.

Jennifer sat catercorner to her opponent, just elected to Congress, with the debate moderator between them.

“Three, two –”

Hand signal for one. Camera light on.

“Good evening,” said FNN news anchor, Shawn Oldman. “Our guests tonight are Senegal Diaz-Jaffe, newly elected Congresswoman from New York’s 14th Congressional District, and renowned arbitrator and TV judge Jennifer Solomon. Our topic for tonight’s point-counterpoint is the proper role of government in seeking social justice. Congresswoman, let’s start with you. You describe yourself as a democratic socialist. What, precisely, do you advocate?”

“Only that which almost every American has agreed upon for close to a century now. That everyone be treated with dignity and the least among us be afforded the equal access to adequate health care, education, and housing that the elite seize for themselves. We need to recognize that capitalism is a rapacious system that we’ve evolved beyond.”

“Judge Solomon?”

“Where does the money to pay for these benefits come from, Ms. Diaz-Jaffe?”

“The government.”

“And where does the government get the money?”

“It must tax those whose fortunes were made by exploiting the working poor.”

“Let’s leave out that your math doesn’t work – that even taking one-hundred percent of the wealth from the top ten percent can’t provide the services you’re demanding for the other ninety percent. So let’s ask the primary question. Exploiting how? How can there be exploitation when a worker is free to quit?”

“To quit and starve? Not be able to pay for rent and food? That’s not a real choice.”

“It’s not a real choice to take a job elsewhere, or start their own business to compete with their former employer?”

“That’s a fantasy. Most start-ups end in bankruptcy.”

“What about those whose fortunes were made by their own hard work and superior products enriching everyone?”

“No one is an island,” Diaz-Jaffe said. “Everyone is dependent on everyone else. The rich get a free ride from publicly funded schools and colleges training their workers, direct taxpayer subsidies, legal shields against the harm their products cause to others.”

“That’s called limited liability and I’ll immediately concede these laws distort the market, allowing a corporation to grow larger than the marketplace would otherwise allow. Nonetheless even a company with such legal shielding must compete to win their share of customers, who freely choose their product or service over the existing alternatives.”

“Unless the government stifles the competition,”said the Congresswoman.

“I agree again,” said Jennifer. “The solution isn’t more government regulation – which is always used to protect one company from its competition – but to eliminate the government preferencing and allow competition to do its job. Your problem – Congresswoman Diaz-Jaffe – is that you detect arsenic in drinking water and wish to replace it with cyanide. If you had studied real economics your solution to market corruption wouldn’t be the fascism you label democratic socialism but the truly free market Agorism I advocate.”

Copyright © 2018 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share

Why Donald Trump Is Not Richard Nixon

I’m an anarchist. Anything I write in this essay is not as an anarchist theorist but as an opinion journalist speaking in common political terms.

Richard Nixon’s presidency ended many of the imperial powers of the presidency that Nixon had enjoyed as a gift from Lincoln as president during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson from World War I, and from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Lyndon Baines Johnson, from World War II and Cold-War enterprises including the Korean and Vietnam unwars.

Watergate weakened the presidency transferring power to courts, lawyers, bureaucrats, and somewhat to the Congress– and neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump have been able to exercise the power twentieth-century presidents had. People forget that George W. Bush was elected in 2000, the last year of the twentieth century; the September 11, 2001 attacks — though at the opening of the twenty-first century — gave Bush 43 a chance to exercise powers that only pre-Nixon presidents had owned.

To quote the Wikipedia article Saturday Night Massacre:

“The Saturday Night Massacre was a series of events on the evening of Saturday, October 20, 1973, during the Watergate scandal in the United States. U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Richardson refused and resigned effective immediately. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; Ruckelshaus refused, and also resigned. Nixon then ordered the third-most-senior official at the Justice Department, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox. Bork considered resigning, but did as Nixon asked. The political and public reaction to Nixon’s actions were negative and highly damaging to the president. A new special counsel was appointed eleven days later on November 1, 1973, and on November 14, 1973, a court ruled that the dismissal had been illegal.”

And that was that for the Imperial Presidency. Presidential powers, both foreign and domestic, are still fulsome, but just aren’t what FDR enjoyed.

Donald Trump & Richard Nixon
U.S. Presidents Donald Trump & Richard Nixon

It’s hard to be the Führer when a former functionary like John Brennan can call you a traitor with zero consequence.

Or when any federal-court judge can reverse any presidential executive order or reverse a Department of Justice order that federal funds be withheld from cities in rebellion against federal law.

Fascism just ain’t what it used to be.

The question remains whether Trump could take back lost presidential powers.

If the 2018 midterms keep both houses of Congress in GOP hands, could President Trump fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — and have his next-in-line fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller — with Trump not facing impeachment from his own party as Nixon did?

It would require Trump to understand that he’s not the CEO of a business enterprise — but a Caesar — for him to do it.

My friend and political advisor (not an anarchist) Brad Linaweaver tells me not to hold my breath.

Bookmark and Share

Mars Pirate Radio Interviews J. Neil Schulman on The Fractal Man and Multiversal Living

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142 Logo

Episode 142 of MPR features Doug Turnbull’s July 16th interview with J. Neil Schulman.

During this interview Turnbull and Schulman discuss The Fractal Man, his newest SF novel.

They also discuss at some length, the concept of the multiverse that is an important feature of the novel, and how this concept fits into Schulman’s personal experience.

It is quite a spirited discussion and Turnbull thinks you will enjoy it.

Bookmark and Share

An Open Letter to Wendy McElroy


Dear Wendy,

I respect you.

Sincerely,

Neil

Link: April 13, 2011 — My Unfinished 30-Year-Old Debate with Wendy McElroy republished in Origitent: Why Original Content Is Property (Steve Heller Publishing, 2018)

Author Wendy McElroy
Author Wendy McElroy

Bookmark and Share

Now a $0.99 Amazon Kindle: The Fractal Man!


My fourth novel, The Fractal Man, was just published by Steve Heller Publishing as an Amazon Kindle selling for $0.99! And it’s free to read if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited!

Click here or on the cover to go to the Amazon page.

The Fractal Man book cover

You can also use the link http://TheFractalMan.com.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

J. Neil Schulman’s fourth novel, The Fractal Man, could only be penned by a writer who wrote scripts for The Twilight Zone.

It’s a fictional autobiography of lives he never lived.

The story begins when David Albaugh is awakened by a phone call from his best friend, who’s been dead for nine years, telling him they’re late for a science-fiction convention panel.

David’s alternate realities only start there.

If only his abstract photography recommended to New York’s Museum of Modern Art by a photographer for Mad Magazine had been exhibited; if only General Electric had taken up his idea for a practical jet belt when he was 11; if only he’d had the money to execute his own business plan and corner the market on eBooks a decade before Jeff Bezos.

David’s journey to parallel timelines takes him to a world where people and cats can fly but dogs can’t; commissions him as a battlefield general in a war between totalitarians and anarchists; as the bringer of music to a world that’s never heard it; as the head of a movie studio making the Superman/Spider-Man movie; as the explorer of a dead world and the real-estate developer of a new one.

What if there was a war where a loved one can be dead in one world and alive in another? What if different systems of social order were dominant in different universes resulting in extreme conflicts when they met? What if parallel lives could be fused into a melding of personalities and talents?

What if some of your favorite celebrities have entirely different lives in parallel worlds?

The Fractal Man asks and offers speculative answers to these questions.

A stand-up narrative establishes a central flow-through yet many vignettes can be read as stand-alone short stories.

Redefining theoretical physics into possible cosmologies, Schulman employs intrigue and suspense to rewrite everything we think we know about the rules of existence.

This is what science fiction was made for.

Early Praise for The Fractal Man:

“J. Neil Schulman’s The Fractal Man takes MetaFiction to a new level. It’s a wildly entertaining collision of the 20th and 21st Centuries. There is something new under the sun.”
— Brad Linaweaver, Author, Editor, Publisher, Filmmaker, Teacher

“Assuming you know what ‘space opera’ is, this is “timeline opera” done with the exuberance of a Doc Smith novel.”
–Eric S. Raymond, “Armed and Dangerous”

If you are interested in writing a review of The Fractal Man for publication and want a review copy in PDF format, please contact Steve Heller at editor@stevehellerpublishing.com.

Bookmark and Share

Control


Gun control isn’t about guns. It’s about control.

Neither is the word “gun” in the Second Amendment. It reads,

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The word “arms” as a category includes guns but projectile-throwing weapons are only a limited part of what in the past have been used as arms. Guns, like swords, may in the future be retired in favor of other technology used as arms. They might not even look like guns such as the phasers on Star Trek or earlier blasters in Forbidden Planet or be based on past bladed weapons such as the lightsabers in Star Wars. You want my speculations? Pay me to write more science fiction.

My last article here is titled “The Scope of the Second Amendment” and argues that arms protected by the Second Amendment is a category far more inclusive than guns.

So when I state that “gun control” isn’t about guns but about control, I’m arguing that who is armed is the defining question of all politics.

A country in which arms are the monopoly of the State and only the State’s favored few may be armed is a monarchy, empire, dictatorship, aristocracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy, junta, gang, or cult. Its anthems, television, and parades may represent itself as democratic but those of its people who are unarmed exist according to the decisions of bullies who are armed.

We see that in any complex political system, such as exists in the United States today, it’s relatively easy to complicate laws such that clearly stated constitutional limits can be negated by “well, they didn’t mean that.”

If the Second Amendment was written when the common soldier’s field weapon was a musket, “well, they weren’t thinking about high-capacity-magazine-fed semi-auto rifles such as the AR-15.” Never mind that this imaginative view of supposedly unimaginative founders would also mean that the First Amendment protections of journalists would only apply to those writing with quills, not on the Internet; and the Fourth Amendment mentioning “persons, houses, papers, and effects” wouldn’t cover Winnebagos or smartphones.

Certainly the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to non-citizens, drug-traffickers, ex-cons, and the mentally unstable –this last being a new omnibus classification for anyone who looks at you funny. Keep on going. I’m sure with just a bit more work you can remove rights from anyone not in your exclusive club.

It’s easy to use government — particularly local government — to control anyone who doesn’t meet the standards of the Chamber of Commerce.

That’s the point I’m making.

Revoutioary Dawn

The Second Amendment was one of ten demands recent revolutionaries made if they were going to cooperate with the newly formed central government. As for local government — dealing with your neighbors — well, feuds were still legal back then.

The Second Amendment is, more than anything written since the Declaration of Independence itself, a reservation of the right to overthrow tyrants — and the arms potentially pointed at their heads are maintained to remind them that their exercise of power over the lives and livelihoods of their compatriots is sharply limited, defined, and temporary.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to forestall the necessity of another revolution by reminding those who exercise political power that the government makes nothing, owns nothing, and makes use only of what the people allow it to control.

So trust me on this. Having spent some decades hanging around with gun owners — and I mean people not with a gun or two but with an arsenal or two — they know why they keep well-armed and if you try to control them another well-regulated revolution is what will be the result.

If you’re lucky.

Bookmark and Share

The Scope of the Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
–Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Statists who wish aristocratic domination over the people often enough interpret the Second Amendment as an historical dead-letter preserving only trivial hunting rights. They nullify the ability of the people to organize as law-enforcing militia. In their view militias (that means armed civilians, organized or not) have been replaced by armed paramilitary police forces and the various state and national military guards.

I don’t rely on the dissembling interpretations of those mendacious crats.

Neither, however, do I take the narrow interpretation of the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, or John Lott, that the Second Amendment is only about guns.

Some advocates are willing to include bladed weapons as arms. To me even that is a far too narrow interpretation.

The Second Amendment says “arms.” The crats want that to be as narrow as possible.

I’m a libertarian who insists that the interpretation be as broad as possible.

Here’s where I stretch out my arms and literally reach for the stars.

The Second Amendment protects anything the human mind can devise to expand and protect human liberty.

Anything.

The rest of this essay will give some examples but — like the Ninth Amendment which reads “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” — is not to be considered exhaustive.

J. Kent Hastings
J. Kent Hastings
Libertarian, Second Amendment Professional,
Crypto-expert, Internet maven, HAM


Hard Cryptography

This is the one which already has some legal precedents, since, as late as 1992, cryptography was on the U.S. Munitions List as an Auxiliary Military Equipment.

Since cryptographic codes have already been classified as arms, they’re already protected under the Second Amendment and – by extension – the possession and use of cryptocurrency are protected by the Second Amendment as well.


Motor Vehicles

Are motor vehicles useful in warfare? Without question. Motorized vehicles are ubiquitous in military use – everything from Jeeps to tanks to armored transports. Being used in war has a legal precedent. In the Supreme Court case United States v. Miller (1934) the court wrote, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

Motor vehicles are ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


Aircraft

It would be difficult to find any kind of aircraft – fixed, movable, or rotary winged – piloted or drone – that is not part of ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


The Internet

The Internet was first developed and used by DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Department of Defense. So the Internet is protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


All Other Communication Devices

Does the military use radio? HAM and CB Radio is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

Television? Yep.

Cell phones? Yes, sir.


Chemicals

Can you find things under your kitchen sink that might have military use? Then it’s protected by the Second Amendment.

Is something in your medicine cabinet used by the military? Something growing in your greenhouse, hydroponics garden, aquaponics pond? If it has any military use the Second Amendment protects your possession and use of it.


Biologicals

If any procedure, treatment, or device has ever been used by the military, the Second Amendment protects its civilian use.


Rocketry

Rocketry has been of military use going back as far as the ancient Chinese. Therefore it is of military use and protected by the Second Amendment.

I told you I would reach for the stars. Congratulations, Elon Musk. Falcon Heavy with its cherry-red Tesla Roadster now being driven to the Asteroid Belt by “Star Man” is protected by the Second Amendment.

Communication satellites? Satellite mapping? You bet.


The General Principle

Okay. I could go on forever. Here’s the principle: If anything has military use it is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

And if you want to maintain the principles – or at least the pretense — of law and order, supremacy of civilians over the military demands this principle be recognized in both statutory law and court rulings.

If you don’t, stop pretending you believe in law and order, or liberty, or even such flawed collectivist concepts as democracy.

Bookmark and Share