Guest Column

Guest Column by a Baby-Boomer Feminist

Guest Column by Lightning Star White Fox

Lightning Star White Fox is the pen name of a former high-tech worker, college librarian, and musician, now retired. — JNS

Feminism Logo

I have been a feminist for 47 years.

Back then, I joined a women’s group that was involved in taking a hard core look at how gynecologists, predominantly males in those days (there were only male gynecologists where I lived), treated women, who believed they needed husbands to dictate their needs and control them, and from whom women needed their husband’s permission to do anything they may want to do on their own.

In this group we all got speculums and looked at each other’s cervixes, which we were never shown when we were examined by our gynecologists (and, by the way, we still aren’t – my current gynecologist is female and even though she’s a truly wonderful doctor, she has never even offered to show me what my internal female organs look like when she’s examining me).

We were astonished to find that women’s cervixes look like penises and that the difference between male and female biology is that women are innies and men are outies with regard to reproductive organs.

I have experienced several forms of discrimination based solely on the fact that I am female.

When I was first married and was working to support my husband while he was still in college, I applied for a credit card and was told I needed my husband’s permission even though he was completely financially dependent upon me and had absolutely no source of income on his own.

I have been pregnant twice and had abortions scheduled for each pregnancy.

For the first pregnancy, the fetus died a week before the scheduled abortion which could be interpreted to be a naturally occurring miscarriage, and my gyn said he wanted to just go ahead and clean me up, but since I had the abortion scheduled the following week, I said I’d wait and do that instead, which I did.

For the second pregnancy I had begun to bleed about a week or so before the scheduled abortion, and went to see the abortion doctor who asked me if I wanted to keep the baby. He told me if I did, I’d have to stay in bed the entire pregnancy which would have been 8+ months. I told him no, I didn’t want the baby, and I had an abortion scheduled for the following week so he said let’s take care of this now. Whether this could be considered a true abortion since I was beginning to miscarry is a moot point, as was the first terminated pregnancy, as I didn’t have any intention to have children, and consider both times to be intended by me abortions.

And yes, Roe V Wade made this possible. I totally believe a woman owns her body and nobody, no man, no woman, no dimensional being, no alien from another planet, no government entity federal, state or local, no religious entity, has the right to make any decision for a woman about what she does with regard to her pregnancy. It’s totally up to the woman and, if she’s in a relationship, taking into consideration that person, and her doctor. Period!

I find that it took legal action to protect the inherent right of women to be master of their bodies egregious and a sad statement about human beings.

When I was 39 years old I decided to have a tubal ligation as I didn’t want to take the chance of getting pregnant again. The first question I was asked is did I have my husband’s permission in case he wanted to have children. When I told the doctor I was single and I wasn’t in a relationship with anyone and that it was solely my decision, there was an underlying implication and attitude that I must be a hooker to want to have this procedure. I did have the tubal ligation.

When I was in my late 20s, I was driving home from having taken a boyfriend of mine from his visiting me where I lived to where he was going to college in another state. My VW died on the way and it was towed to a truck stop where there was a mechanic who knew something about how to work on VW’s. I was going to need to spend the night so I got a motel room. However, I couldn’t see the motel from the restaurant due to all the semis blocking it. I asked a trucker if he could show me where the motel was and he said he’d walk me to my room.

In those days I was pretty open and trusting so I said ok as he appeared to be an ok guy. I was also smoking pot pretty regularly then (point of reference, gave up doing that 30 years ago). When we got to the room I asked this guy if he’d like to smoke a joint with me since he was so nice to show me where my room was, and invited him into the room.

Inside the room he started making some moves towards having sex, but I was able to talk him out of that and get him out of the room by saying I was really tired and invited him to come back a few hours later. I lucked out! He did come back later and I had all the lights turned off and called the motel desk saying someone was trying to break into my room. They sent a car around and he took off. So I narrowly avoided any kind of an assault or rape, but I surely was ignorant and it could have gone another way.

I remember most everything about this incident relative to what happened and how I felt. I don’t remember the name of the motel and truck stop, though if it’s still there since I do remember exactly where I was I most probably could find it. I don’t remember the exact date though I know the week during which it happened and that it was in the afternoon. My encounter with the person was only a few minutes, and I don’t remember his name, nor what he looked like. I do take full responsibility for what happened and could have happened since I was the one doing the inviting and was appearing, for all intents and purposes, that I was willing by the way I looked and my actions.

So, I well know discrimination against women, and how scared I was just almost being forced to have sex I didn’t want to have simply because I thought I was being nice to someone. That being said, I have a real problem with the #metoo movement.

I saw a tv story shortly after it was formed and women were beginning to accuse men en masse, as well as gay men accusing other gay men, of having been sexually assaulted and raped, about one women in a position of power (I tried to follow up and find her and couldn’t find anything about her and what she said, nor could I find the original tv piece I saw, and I cannot remember her name or what her profession was) who was asked if an accusation was enough to suffice to prove someone had been sexually assaulted or raped. She said yes, that’s all that’s needed. This is simply, clearly, not all that’s needed.

And here’s where I have, as a long-time feminist, a real problem with the attitude and belief that all that’s needed to prove a person was sexually assaulted or raped is an accusation.

I have a friend whose boyfriend at the time was accused by a very good female friend of hers of having been raped by my friend’s boyfriend years before. She had no proof but she was absolutely sure he was the guy who raped her. The truth was he was nowhere near where she said she was raped at the time that happened, and that could be proven as he was with somebody who could corroborate that.

Additionally, after the time he was accused of having raped her, he’d been in a horrific fire and had been burned badly on a good deal of his body, which required lots of reconstructive surgery leaving him not looking anything at all the way he looked before the fire when this rape took place. The person my friend’s friend said raped her looked to her like my friend’s boyfriend after he’d been through reconstructive surgery and not the way he looked at all before the fire. So, there was absolutely no way this man could have been the one who raped her as he didn’t at all fit the description of the man who did when it happened. And obviously, my friend’s boyfriend did deny he was involved.

But all that still didn’t convince that woman he wasn’t the person who raped her.

I totally believe Christine Blasey Ford was assaulted and it completely traumatized her. However, not even her best friend, who she said went to the party with her, could provide any corroboration of the party, or of even knowing Kavanaugh.

There’s no one who remembers a party at a house of that description, nor where it took place, nor when or that it took place.

No one has come forth to give an address of the house.

No one has come forth to say they remembered driving her to the party.

No one has come forth to say they remember driving her home from the party.

No one remembers seeing her at a party in a house of the description she provided.

No one remembers that Kavanaugh went to a party of that description.


Was there a group of nefarious people who found everyone who could corroborate her story and paid them off to lie under penalty of grave personal consequences to say that there was no such party and her story is a complete fabrication with regard to Kavanaugh? How come there is absolutely no one who will say they remember anything remotely like what she’s described happened to her?

To my way of thinking, that is innocent until proven guilty. Even if Kavanaugh is guilty and was lying to congress, there’s no proof. That is our legal system based on people’s rights as per our Constitution.

That is why murderers, and thieves, and rapists, and terrorists end up going free when there is not enough proof to convict them or even sometimes to charge them with a crime.

Whether or not Kavanaugh is truly the perp who sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, there’s nothing that can be done about that without any proof. And that 36 years have passed makes her testimony with regard to remembering it was specifically and without a doubt Kavanaugh who assaulted her not being able to provide any proof is the great difficulty.

This has nothing to do with preventing women who have been sexually assaulted and raped from speaking out and making sure such criminal acts are dealt with appropriately and making sure those perpetrators and violators are convicted and sent to prison (although, my personal feeling is prison does no good – they should be castrated, medicated to keep them docile, and forced to be a slave to the person they harmed for the rest of their lives – to hell with their “rights” – they lost them when they violated another human being).

Additionally, and this is my personal perspective, at 15 years old, which means being in 9th or 10th grade, what was Christine Blasey doing going to a private party with senior high school boys, where there was no adult supervision, where she was drinking, even if only one beer, which was illegal at her age, where she was clandestinely taken by someone and clandestinely driven home by someone?

Even if nothing had happened to her, her parents finding out she’d been out drinking with senior boys, or confiding in a friend who might have spilled the beans so her parents might have found out, would have minimally gotten her grounded if not a good whipping. No doubt she was afraid to reveal where she’d been and what she’d been doing to anyone, irrespective if something horrible happened to her. I know that if I had done something like that at age 15 and my parents found out, I’d have been grounded until I had graduated high school, graduated college, been married and had children. A 15 year old female going to a party with older boys where there is drinking is risky business.

Also, what is someone who is teaching psychology doing carrying around traumatic baggage without having found some way to deal with it and heal after 36 years?

I am not implying being sexually assaulted is to be tossed off lightly, nor that women should not be allowed to name those who have harmed them immeasurably and shut-the-fuck-up and remain silent and in pain, nor that traumatic experiences aren’t to be treated with the utmost tenderness and respect.

I am saying that we each are responsible to ourselves to not allow some motherfucking-piece-of-shit to steal our power and ruin our lives. Fuck them!

We are responsible to find ways to free ourselves from being slaves to those who have harmed us. Take that trauma and use its energy to throw it back at them. Holding on to the trauma and pointing fingers outside to continually blame others for what has happened in our lives and claiming continuing victimhood disempowers us.

A person who truly wants to empower women wouldn’t advise women to continue to remain victims, whining and moaning and blaming and being afraid. That is where there is the true violation because it entraps us, immobilizes us and keeps us in an endless loop of being traumatized. How does that help healing? How does this empower women? Continuing to be angry and enraged and bathing in hurt makes healing impossible.

Not taking personal responsibility for our actions and knowing that there is always interaction between people, and that a person, on some level, even if innocently, can put themselves in a position where they can be harmed, is throwing your power away.

A couple of generic examples:

While rape or sexual assault is never excusable for any reason, a woman who wears a low-cut, tight, very short dress and goes to a bar letting men buy drinks for her, and then leaves the bar and starts walking down a dark alley is not asking to be raped, but she surely is not thinking clearly about her safety and is putting herself in a very precarious position.

Someone drunk and driving isn’t looking to have an accident, but surely is putting themselves and others at risk. We have to think about what we’re doing, and take what part of the ultimate consequences is our responsibility vs what part is the other’s responsibility.

I’m for self-determined, empowerment of both men and women. People who have been harmed by others do have an inherent right to speak out, female and male. But blaming and shaming and holding on to baggage that ends up destroying a life, and being told and persuaded that this is the way through to personal victory and being free does not accomplish that freedom. It’s the exact opposite. It makes someone weak and vulnerable to further damage.

I see the #metoo movement as DISempowering women because it misdirects those attempting to create a true voice of power. It has gotten to the point of the boy who cried wolf and it’s beginning to backfire.

I’m for women’s rights and men’s rights and treating all beings and the earth with respect and honor. The radical feminists who blame and in the past blamed men for all their problems aren’t any better than the patriarchal attitude that has been in the forefront for hundreds of years.

Until we human beings realize it takes a unity and coming together of men and women, and disparate belief systems that put people at odds, finding ways to understand each other even when we have great disagreements, instead of blaming, pointing fingers, he said-she said, and letting accusations condemn and convict without proof, we are heading towards disaster, not only of all of our rights in the U.S., but planet-wide.

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Brad Linaweaver on One-World Statism

This begins with a tweet I forwarded in email to my friend, author/filmmaker/publisher, Brad Linaweaver:
Tweet on Cato

Brad responded, and later in the day granted my request to publish. I’ve added links. — JNS

Subject: Re: I tweeted
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2018 18:09:35 -0400
From: Brad Linaweaver
To: J. Neil Schulman
CC: [concealed]

[Personal comment deleted]

As for the fake libertarian at Cato, a lot more is going on than we can lay at the altar of Keynes. The issue is globalism. The current nervousness is about the currency of Turkey. That economy is in trouble because of the ridiculous policies of the Turkish State. The globalists (which coalition includes my favorite whipping boy, the Neo-cons) are all about managing the world economy as if it were the economy of a single state.

The British Keynes gave advice for national economies, a lot more than he did for the entire world. He was more of a nationalist than today’s libertarians, whose problem is not being a critic of nations but instead being advocates of a world state.

The globalists feel the same proprietary emotion for China’s economy, say, as the American economy. They don’t see individual businessmen any more than they see separate nations. They are not low-level collectivists. They are super-collectivists.

No debate is possible without a consensus on the primary subject matter. We can’t discuss a problem about private markets where the other side has redefined markets outside of the private realm forever!!! Cato is on the other side.

Lord Maynard Keynes never went that far.

Do you remember when President George H. W. Bush talked about a “New World Order”? It freaked out a lot of people because Hitler also talked about a New World Order. But Hitler didn’t originate the phrase. He ripped it off from our side — that is, the Anglo American side, the English speaking side. Bush was simply taking the phrase back from German into the original English.

Want proof?

H. G. Wells was not merely the father of modern science fiction. He was the best selling writer in English for many years. He was a best seller before the Great War. He was a best selling writer all over the world in the 1920s.

He advocated new world orders, and new intellectuals (before Rand), and new this and new that, and intellectual samurai, and technocracy, before the Nazis (and a lot of anti-Nazis) used this rhetoric. His last book, Mind At The End Of Its Tether, was a pessimistic meditation on how his dream of world government would never happen. It came out shortly after the conclusion of WW2.

Wells simply died too soon.

His dream is on the march.

As I once told [mutual friend] Bill Ritch, Trump is a speed bump on the way to World Government. But that is only a delay. Reagan was a delay, too.

Robert A. Heinlein went from predicting and advocating World Government (back in the 1930s) to predicting and opposing world government for the rest of his life. But he never stopped predicting it.

My favorite libertarian science fiction long novel* is The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress because it says a world government is coming, but a libertarian revolution off the earth can successfully resist the tentacles of that gigantic state.

My love of the RAH novel is why I made all the sacrifices required for Free Space.

That anthology is not entitled Free Earth.

Heinlein would never have said 1969 is Year One if he believed the future of the human race is here on the old mud ball.

Never, never, never.

Cato is very much of the Earth, but not of the United States. The USA is the greatest nation in the history of the planet, but it will not last forever. Anyone who thinks the USA is eternal is nuts. We are simply fortunate to be citizens of the USA while it is still here. We are fortunate to have a President who is trying to keep America alive at all (which is sufficient greatness for me).

However, any student of history knows this unusually reasonable Empire will not be here forever. It’s not possible.

Even the religious nuts are smart enough to understand this perfectly obvious fact.

*My favorite libertarian science fiction short novel is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. It’s also my favorite novel, without qualifications.


Brad Linaweaver
Brad Linaweaver

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Guest Editorial by Brad Linaweaver: Without Kryptonite

Brad Linaweaver

By Brad Linaweaver

J. Neil Schulman and I have had similar careers as libertarian science fiction writers. We won some of the same awards. We wrote for the first Agorist publication, New Libertarian. We spent a lot of time in Hollywood.

We’re comrades.

So it was no surprise back in the nineties that both of us would attend a media event in Santa Monica, The Coalition Against PBS Censorship.

Neil and I have been remembering that event because of a firestorm started by Dr. Ben Carson in the wake of murders committed by a madman named Mercer in Oregon. Before Carson inadvertently lit today’s media fire, I witnessed Neil do much the same thing at the PBS event.

So, let’s set the controls in the nearest TARDIS and take a trip down the timeline. The most memorable aspect of the PBS event was the host.

Christopher Reeve was yet to have his terrible accident. He was every bit the actor we all believed was Superman. But not even super powers helped with the unenviable task of keeping everyone polite and good natured in a gathering certain to provoke controversy.

My contribution to civil discourse was avoiding contact with David Horowitz, someone I’ve always disliked for bringing SDS tactics to the American right. He was the only celebrity I went out of my way to avoid.

The stars were in alignment for me that day. I had the honor of meeting Reeve, instead. I was introduced to him as a libertarian. I’ll never forget what he said:

“You want to combine the NRA with the ACLU.”

It was a brilliant insight from an intelligent liberal. It was an insight beyond many of today’s liberals and conservatives. I was impressed.

My good luck continued. Naturally, I wanted to discuss movies with Chris Reeve, however briefly. Naturally, the last thing he wanted was another chat about Superman.

But I had recently seen a comedy with Reeve, Noises Off. That was the film I mentioned. Turned out it was one of his favorite films in which he had participated. We talked about it for several minutes. What actor can resist a good movie about the perils of live theater? Things went so well that I joked about not taking out the kryptonite I was keeping in a lead lined pocket.

A wonderful encounter.

Neither of us could know that by the anniversary of the PBS event, the following year, Chris Reeve would have been completely disabled for the rest of his life after being thrown by a horse. If I had known, I wouldn’t have made the joke about kryptonite. But in the context of the meeting, where there would soon be a controversy about speeding bullets, Superman might be objective about a weapon that could not harm him.

Neil made a difference at the event.

As libertarians, Neil and I are for the Bill of Rights, not just the First Amendment which was the cause for the meeting. Neil and I have always noticed that the Founding Fathers put a lot of thought into which rights they stressed right at the start.

So, it was not surprising that the Second Amendment would come up. I was the least surprised person at the event after Reeve made his insightful remark to me.

As Carson found out recently, Neil discovered that it was weirdly unpopular to make a common sense observation about how an unpopular minority with guns can stand off a dangerous majority. As a writer of alternate history stories, I did not find anything controversial about Neil’s suggestion then, or Carson’s suggestion now, that if the Jews inside the Third Reich had been well armed and fought the Nazis inside Germany then history might have taken a different direction.

At the very least, internal resistance at that level would have thrown off Hitler’s timetable for the war. Imagine if instead of using howitzers against a civilian population in Poland, Hitler had done that inside his own country. The world would have noticed.

After all, the world noticed the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in the history that actually happened.

Alas, most people don’t want to think about such things. Many people booed Neil at the PBS event. Chris Reeve defended Neil. After all, the event was about free speech!!!

After the dust settled, Ron Silver shook Neil’s hand and thanked him for his courage. Neil thanked Reeve for what he did. Not everyone booed, just far too many.

Why is it controversial to recognize that it’s better to die on your feet with a gun in your hand than being rounded up like sheep?

J. Neil Schulman and Ben Carson are vilified for what should not be controversial.

Except it is controversial.

That’s the problem.

Inside my fevered brain, libertarian thoughts were clawing at my feeble hold on sanity during Neil’s travails at the Coalition Against PBS Censorship.

I thought about the usefulness of guns in private hands during the Hungarian uprising in the fifties. The Soviets had to bring in tanks. The world noticed.

Then I thought about guns in private hands during the Prague Spring in the sixties. The Soviets brought the tanks Into Czechoslovakia. Again, the world noticed.

But then a particularly libertarian thought clawed and clawed until it got my attention. It was a “what if,” as Neil had asked a “what if”!

What if Japanese Americans had been better armed than they were, and put up resistance in Roosevelt’s America as the Jews might have put up resistance in Hitler’s Germany? After all, the Nisei had as little to do with Pearl Harbor as the German Jews had to do with calumnies Hitler was trying to put on them.

It could be argued that the Nisei were not being sent to death camps, but they had no way of knowing that. As was the case with Jews in the Reich, the Japanese Americans were having property and money stolen at the point of a gun, and were being marched off to relocation camps.

Years after the PBS event, but before 9-11, a magazine published by Jessie Lilley ran the first installment of a series I was doing about movie censorship. The magazine was Worldly Remains. (Amusingly enough, Jessie later became the editor of Mondo Cult, on which I’m the publisher.)

The series was “Unconditional Surrender,” and the first installment was about how American movies were censored in World War Two. A lot of it had to do with how Japs (and I’m using the word deliberately) were portrayed in American films as the enemy race, the way Jews were portrayed as the enemy race in German films.

When writing the article for WR, perhaps I was flashing back to that PBS event where Neil argued for human rights.

Would most of the Nisei have been killed if they tried to defend themselves against FDR? Or would they have caught the conscience of a country still reeling from Pearl Harbor? Now that we live in an America after 9-11, these questions are probably Thought Crimes.

I don’t pretend to know.

But individuals have a Natural Law right to self defense, regardless of victory or defeat.

There is one thing I know for certain.

Sometimes America needs Superman.

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Guest Commentary by Renard Blanc: Revisions for U.S. History Course Curriculum in Jeffco School District

Renard Blanc is a Colorado resident who has worked in college libraries and the computer industry.

Dear Jeffco Board of Education Members,

With regard to the current controversy concerning emphasizing patriotism and minimizing civil disobedience in the teaching of History classes in the Jeffco School District, may I first state that I totally support you in your understanding that patriotism is an integral and very important part of teaching United States History.

However, you are very incorrect attempting to down-play the importance of civil disobedience by either minimizing or not teaching it at all as a part of the curriculum of classes on American History.

Denver school board refuses to drop curriculum review that promotes patriotism
Denver school board refuses to drop curriculum review that promotes patriotism

Why does the curriculum of American History classes have to include either patriotism or civil disobedience, exclusive of one another? Both patriotism and civil disobedience are critical aspects of the history of the United States, and both are inherent in our freedoms as documented in the Constitution.

May I remind you, since you seem to have forgotten, if it wasn’t for civil disobedience, which led to the Declaration of Independence and ultimately the American Revolution, the quintessential acts of civil disobedience to this day, we wouldn’t be the United States of America but still subjects of the monarch of Great Britain. You cannot teach the tenets of the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, and the Constitution of the United States, without fully addressing the importance of these acts of civil disobedience as being ultimate acts of patriotism, up to and including giving our lives for the right to live free.

Being a patriot must include the right of protest and civil disobedience. You cannot have one without the other. To minimize teaching the historical and present acts of civil disobedience in the United States is to be profoundly unpatriotic. To imply that civil disobedience is un-American and unpatriotic is not only plainly and simply wrong, it is a complete misunderstanding of what the founding fathers intended for the newly formed United States and its continued health as a free nation, ensuring the rights of individual freedoms of its citizens going into the future in perpetuity.

Attached is a copy of the Declaration of Independence which I suggest you re-read (assuming you have read it since you claim to be patriots) as a reminder of what a patriot really is and how civil disobedience was the very first patriotic act in the formation of the United States of America.

An additional “reminder” for you with regard to civil disobedience is the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights (emphasis mine):

Amendment 1 (Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Bill of Rights

Just a little bit of research will turn up mountains of evidence on the importance of civil disobedience that led to our independence from Great Britain, and our continued struggle as a nation to retain and maintain our rights to freedom and to protest, here and now, today, in the United States of America. Without civil disobedience, would we have had the landmark decisions to have equal educational opportunities available to all races, creeds, and religions, for both men and women?

You obviously see the protest of the students and teachers against changing the history curriculum as a consequence of the current curriculum of promoting liberal ideology, brainwashing and indoctrination in the classroom. And, I would have to agree with you that these influences are definitely present here and that the protestors are seeing only the part that supports their agenda of what they want to be taught in history classes. But, even though I agree that teaching a liberal agenda which emphasizes civil disobedience and minimizes patriotism, or doesn’t teach patriotism at all in history classes, is wrong, the opposite is equally egregious. You must teach both in their proper context, emphasizing neither, or you are simply promoting an alternative political agenda and not teaching the truth of our freedoms and what it means to be a patriot in our country.

Your current curriculum change to minimize (replace?) teaching about civil disobedience and emphasize (replace it) instead with teaching about patriotism due to your claiming to be patriots belies your true intent. You do not intend nor desire to teach the truth in your history classes on the United States, nor of current events. You intend to propagandize a political agenda. Politics should only be taught in history classes to bring to light all the differing aspects, philosophies and attitudes of the different parties throughout our history and present day, most importantly, without presenting a bias towards one or another or propagandizing for or against one or another. To do otherwise is a political agenda which has no place in the classroom.

Our founding fathers are turning in their graves over your decision. I accuse you of being just what you claim to be against. You are the ones who are unpatriotic!

Thank you for your attention and hopefully, consideration, of these thoughts.

To True Patriotism…

Renard Blanc

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Guest Commentary by Brad Linaweaver: Things That Make No Sense

Few libertarians have as many noteworthy accomplishments as my friend Brad Linaweaver, or as many other admirers who have granted him iconic praise. His first novel, Moon of Ice, carries endorsements from Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and William F. Buckley, Jr.

Ronald Reagan once devoted an entire radio show praising one of Brad’s articles written when Brad was a college student.

Brad’s published credits as a short-story writer, film commentator, novelist, journalist, essayist, interviewer, and screenwriter would take up pages. That doesn’t even list his work as a magazine editor and publisher (Mondo Cult), public speaker, and film professional. And I can’t tell you how many times Brad’s informal analysis of politics and world affairs is far more penetrating than any talking heads you’ll find on cable-news or talk radio.

Brad Linaweaver is the man behind The Silicon Assassin.

With Silicon Assassin writer/producer Brad Linaweaver from photo left: Vicki Marie Taylor as Lady Twilight, Victoria Plumb as Deadly Tween, and Paula Labaredas as Bubble Blonde Girl

Earlier today Brad called to say how impressed he is with Kurdistan’s offer to do the boots on the ground solution to ISIS if we give them the military equipment.

Quoting Linaweaver: “Neil, you and I want the United States to offer diplomatic recognition to Kurdistan. The time has come. The Kurds will not abandon what America gives them on the battlefield. But if the lawyers won’t allow a deal with the Kurds, my little article suggests other solutions than sending American troops back into the same old mess.”

–J. Neil Schulman

I always like to celebrate surviving another birthday (9-1) by thinking about something that makes no sense.

So, I’m a year older. The year is 2014, and the current example of nonsense has to do with ISIS (or ISIL, or the Islamic State).

Not only frantic Republicans, but a fair smattering of Democrats and nervous Brits insist that this latest tentacle of Radical Islam is the whole octopus.

It’s here at last, an existential threat.

Maybe even a metaphysical threat.

It is the beginning of the dread Caliphate!!!!

The Prime Minister of the UK talks about it as a greater threat than Hitler’s Nazis, Stalinist Commies, Imperial Japanese, eternal China, pedophile priests and Injuns on the warpath.

He also gives the impression that ISIS may be worse than cancer, yellow fever, tuberculosis, Ebola, and the Black Plague, combined.

Meanwhile, in the exception that is America, our pathetic President Obama (curses be upon his golf clubs) is lazy, crazy (as in psychological problems), and doing nothing about ISIS, despite the explosives he seems to be exploding in the desert areas where ISIS seems to be festering.

Most Americans would not know that the USA is killing ISIS members if not for the censored terrorist videos where the killer complains about American policy right before he decapitates captured American correspondents.

You’d think from Fox News and talk radio that Obama is an agent of ISIS. Since the President refuses to use the powers he has from the two Patriot Acts to silence his lying critics (which he could do even without a declaration of war) many Americans believe the President is doing nothing.

Obama sucks at being a dictator. FDR would be ashamed of him.

But it’s not just the Tea Party lunatics boiling in America who are ill informed.

Many right wing Israelis also believe any old nonsense spewed out about Obama.

Which brings me to an obvious point.

If ISIS is truly an existential threat, then it does more than threaten, say, Londoners and New Yorkers. It is a more immediate threat to Israel. Look at a map.

Israel must have a few weapons left over after its incursion (i.e., lopsided war) into/with Gaza. Israeli casualties were low, especially considering the civilians protected by Iron Dome, provided by the always popular Obama administration.

If ISIS is only 17,000 killers (give or take a few thou) then why doesn’t Israel act in concert with the USA? It’s just not that many people to kill in a military situation.

ISIS, the greatest threat of all time, couldn’t hold onto that one dam in Mosul which would have actually constituted a lasting threat. I believe the Turks helped rescue the dam.

What I’m trying to say is that the usual arguments ring hollow about the need for Israeli non-engagement in this peculiar situation.

The tiredest argument is that Israel will make Arabs, Turks, Persians, genies out of magic lamps, and other members of the unchosen unite against the Jews.

Not this time.

Not when ISIS is hated by Al Qaeda, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the lovable leader of Syria, the generals in Egypt, and maybe Allah Himself.

Not all Sunnis love ISIS. Shocking, but true.

Then there’s the idea that Israel cannot act without permission of the United States. Been hearing that cliché for years.

Israel just acted in Gaza without American permission. They act without American permission a lot. Remember Lebanon?

There is only one pertinent question:

Is Israel a real country, or a pretend country?

If right wing assholes are telling the truth about ISIS, then it is potentially a greater threat to Israel than Hamas.

Why does Israel seem more reticent than Obama to take on ISIS?

(Another mystery is why any member of Likud cares if Americans hate Hamas as much as ISIS. Seems like a waste of everyone’s time.)

Israel just made a bad impression on the world stage. But many critics would downplay Gaza if Israel publicly took on ISIS in a big way.

Spy stuff (always valuable) to one side, it did not take a lot of courage to pull off what Israel did in Gaza. American soldiers took greater risks to limit civilian casualties, fighting block to block in Iraq, then Israeli soldiers did with their blockbusting tactics in Gaza.

Israel looked bad.

Normal humans might start thinking, “Have we been exaggerating the martial courage of Israel in recent times? Perhaps their brave days are behind them?”

There is a simple way to defend the honor of Israel, of course. It is simply to agree with Obama that ISIS is not an existential threat. ISIS can be destroyed without a war.

But how can that be true? That would mean we’re being lied to by the King of Saudi Arabia, as well as retired military blowhards on every American cable news channel.

There you have my radical thought for 2014.

Either we’re being fed a bucket of camel shit, or Israel has lost its nerve. The latter seems unlikely.


Next year, around this time, the new threat will be OSIRIS.

— Brad Linaweaver

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Tom Woods: “Books Are Good, But People Watch Movies”

Blogged by Tom Woods on November 20th, 2010
Tom Woods
Tom Woods

The libertarian world has been doing a good job writing and publishing in economics, history, and philosophy. But to reach a wider audience, we need to go where the people are. For one thing, people read much more fiction than nonfiction. J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night is an excellent example of the possibilities for libertarian fiction. And now there’s a move to get his book adapted into a motion picture. Fiction writing and the movies are two areas where we are getting killed. We’re not even putting up a fight. A project like this can change that.

Alongside Night, with major endorsements from Ron Paul and Milton Friedman, its libertarian awards and rave reviews, and the intention of Free to Choose media to use the film in its teaching modules distributed to high schools, is an extremely rare opportunity to make inroads into the mass entertainment media. It would be great to see people of means get behind this important project.

About Tom Woods
Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of ten books. A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Read More.

Alongside Night -- The Movie
Go to the Alongside Night Official Movie Website

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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Guest Editorial by L. Neil Smith: Little Criminals — The Context of Consent

L. Neil Smith

L. Neil Smith is the First Initial Middle-Name-“Neil” Last-Name-Begins-With-“S” Prometheus-Award-Winning Libertarian-Science-Fiction-Author Gun-Writer Singer/Songwriter” who is not me. Now here’s something else we agree about.

Little Criminals — The Context of Consent

By L. Neil Smith
The Libertarian Enterprise

Have you ever noticed — in movies, books, or real life — that when a mugger attacks someone, he never says “Give me your money!” but usually says “Give me the money!” or even “Give me my money!” instead?

There seems to be a basic human drive to justify one’s actions, no matter how heinous they might actually be. Sometimes it’s a matter of self-deception — “I’m doing this for your own good!” — sometimes it’s a matter of propaganda: “We had to destroy the village to save it.” It’s the basis on which millions of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others were stripped of their perceived humanity in the 1940s and

I was probably only eight years old when I realized that socialism is nothing more than a fancied-up excuse for stealing other people’s property and killing them if they resist, that collectivism is just a shabby attempt to make theft and murder appear respectable. Later on, I came to understand that this is true of all “philosophies” of government.

We all live in a kleptocracy.

Lately, we have witnessed the rise of a movement — a thuggish crusade wrapped in the tattered robes of academic “respectability” against “Intellectual Property Rights” — dedicated to stripping creative individuals of whatever they create, to expropriate it for some imagined “greater good,” and to attack the creators viciously and defame them if they should be so gauche as to object to being stolen from.

Their principal “argument” seems to be, now that almost everything is digitized and can be duplicated, manipulated, and transported by means of electronics, that this somehow removes the moral obligation of civilized beings to respect the rights of others and honor their propriety. It’s fundamentally the same argument that victim disarmament advocates make when they claim — ignoring the principle involved — that the authors of the Second Amendment couldn’t possibly anticipate machine guns.

Even more, it’s like a rapist saying afterward, “Hey, if you were a virgin, at least that’s taken care of now. And if you weren’t, then you haven’t really lost anything, have you? True, I have benefited from your sexuality, but you still have it, don’t you? And if you didn’t want to get raped, you had no business going out in public and spraying pheromones all over. In fact, I think I’m the real victim, here.”

I am currently thinking these thoughts, and many more besides, because, when they thought I wasn’t looking, a small handful of literary muggers and rapists have taken something that I am fairly famous for having written — my “Covenant of Unanimous Consent” — inflicted alterations on it which they falsely claim makes it a different document, and then fraudulently passed it off as their own work.

Which means any signatures it gathered were obtained fraudulently, too. They would want me to mention who they are and give you their URL.

I’ve seen plagiarism before. In ninth grade, I won a short story contest because the guy who “beat” me had typed up something by Robert Sheckley or Richard Matheson and passed it off as his own. I’m not the one who turned him in, although I had immediately recognized the story. The idiot had to get on the PA system and confess to his crime. Whether it ruined his life forever or was the making of him, I have no way of knowing. I had no sympathy for him because what he did is a crime, in the legal sense but more importantly, in the moral sense, as well.

Back to the present.

In time, several individuals warned me about what had happened, and I contacted the plagiarists directly, myself. Imagine my surprise when, instead of apologizing humbly and abjectly, as they ought to have done, and sought to make restitution, they became obnoxious and aggressive, so that, in the end, I was considered the villain of the piece, and called names, simply for having defended my own work from theft.

You will be interested to learn — and falling-down amused, if you know me or my work at all well — that I am, officially, a “statist asshole.” In part, this is because I politely informed them I was sharing our correspondence with my attorney, to whom I had started blind-copying everything. My attorney is also among my very closest friends, and I had decided to blind-copy him to keep his Inbox clear of the heady liquid excrement (ever see the uncut final sequence of The Magic Christian?) I was having to wade through to protect my rights.

Never forget that I am a statist asshole.

Please note: I had never said that I was planning to sue this gang of little criminals, only that I was blind-copying my correspondence with them to my attorney. It was they who jumped to the conclusion that I wanted to sue them. Even when I told them that I wasn’t planning to sue them, and instead mentioned private adjudication — a process, I assume, that can legitimately involve attorneys — they childishly went on calling me a statist, not because it was true, but because it was such a swell smelly ball of excrement to smear on the wall.

This is not unlike the way, whenever they sensed dimly that they were losing the argument at hand, my grandmother Mabel and my wife’s grandmother Bertha (no, I am not kidding), both of whom were Roosevelt Democrats with minds so narrow they could look through a keyhole with both eyes, would resort to calling anyone who disagreed with them a communist.

Thus I am a statist asshole.

I have a small bet with myself that if I had informed these opponents of common, civilized behavior that I consider that what they have done amounts to an act of initiated force against me — with all of the consequences that entails — intervention on their behalf by the State, most likely in the form of badged and uniformed policemen who could prevent me from dealing with them directly, myself, would suddenly, miraculously appear a whole lot more attractive and morally acceptable.

But, statist asshole that I am, I have digressed.

At some point, I realized that the topic of intellectual property rights (about which I have never before been particularly interested) would have to be dealt with in Where We Stand, the volume I’m currently writing on libertarian policy, and that if I were to write an article about this little flapette for my editorial journal The Libertarian Enterprise, it might be suitable for the book. I conveyed that idea to the plagiarists as politely as I could, and put off any further argument with them until the article could be written and published.

The very next thing I knew, I was being defamed, by the leader of these scavengers and parasites, to all sixteen of the listeners to his Internet radio show, and all over the Internet. But, of course, had I decided to sue the guy for libel, slander, and defamation, in addition to his plagiarism, that would have made me a statist asshole all over again.

A double statist asshole.

Ever hear a mugger or rapist complain bitterly when it turns out his victim is armed and can defend him- or herself? I have. He sounds exactly like a left wing anti-gun politician. He also sounds exactly like the second-handers whole stole my work and offered it as their own.

Like many another pack of thieves, the Hole-In-The-Head Gang (to borrow a phrase) had an ideology with which to alibi themselves. The first tenet is that there is a distinction between physical property and what some — especially its creators — claim to be “intellectual property.”

They informed me, loftily, that just because I think of an idea, that doesn’t mean it belongs to me. That if I don’t want something I created stolen, then I shouldn’t communicate it to the world. Fine — and if everybody followed this “advice,” these creeps wouldn’t have any opposition to their thievery, and no stories or books would ever be published, no songs would ever be written, no music would ever be composed.

What a swell world that would be.

Believe it or not, one of these scavengers defended his crime by asserting that the Covenant of Unanimous Consent did not appear on one of the more prominent pages of my website. That’s exactly like ordering me to turn in my Yves Saint Laurent suit (believe it or not, I own one, and a nice Calvin Klein, too) because I don’t wear it very often. True, I had backed off pressing the Covenant as it became more and more obvious to me the movement had deteriorated so badly that the Zero Aggression Principle was now considered controversial, and even oppressive.

“You are a dinosaur and your assertion [presumably of my personal property rights] is invalid,” another of them informed me grandly. He, too, would want me to mention his name. “Innovation is impossible under your worldview.”

As an individualist, I’m not generally interested in Utilitarian arguments. However, it is worth noting that the past 300 years have seen the greatest progress in human history, and it’s exactly the same era in which copyright has been respected and stringently enforced. In this connection it’s worth asking, since there is no actual difference between intellectual property and physical property, when some self-appointed committee of sticky-fingered little rodents will “discover” that fact, and decide that you don’t really need your wallet, your car, your house, or especially your guns. It’s been done everywhere else, during the last couple of centuries, all over the world. Why not here?

Only we’ll call it libertarianism.

As I say, I had pretty much ignored the issue of intellectual property rights, even though arguments about it had been raging all over my blog at, and in the virtual pages of my opinion journal, The Libertarian Enterprise. For the most part, I had been too busy creating more intellectual property, notably my vampire novel, Sweeter Than Wine and the policy guide, Where We Stand. Now I was going to have to think about it and say something coherent.


My first observation is that, in a moral context, there is no discernible difference between physical property and intellectual property. As I first learned at the age of thirteen from the pages of Jack Finney’s 1959 novel Assault on a Queen, virtually everything we have, we have purchased at the price of little bits of our lives which we dedicate to fulfilling some employer’s interests rather than our own. We trade the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and eventually the years of our lives for our homes, cars, and everything else.

Traditionally in civilized property theory, “mingling your labor with the land,” the concepts of “sweat equity,” and of “selling little bits of your life” in order to acquire whatever you need or want, abolishes any meaningful difference between physical and intellectual property. The farmer begins with a tree-covered lot that he must clear and plow and plant, and the writer with a damnedly blank page or screen.

Property is property and theft is theft. Or as my wife Cathy, who can be refreshingly straightforward, puts it, unless you can go out in a field somewhere and pee me a bicycle without reflecting on it, all property is intellectual property. Somebody had to think of it. Somebody had to build it. And somebody had to use his mind to earn the money “or other valuable consideration” that was exchanged for the bicycle.

When I first went to college as a freshly-fledged “admirer of Ayn Rand,” I was informed — by leftists deeply involved in what was billed as the “Civil Rights Movement” — that there are human rights and then there are property rights; only the former existed in reality and are legitimate. Some of them asserted mockingly that property couldn’t have rights, others that defending property rights is somehow reprehensible and evil. Doomed never to be popular at school, I disagreed. It had been my experience that those who disparage property rights most vociferously usually do it because they want your property themselves.

Almost to a man (if that’s not giving these poor creatures too much credit; I have noticed that none of these would-be looters seem to be female, perhaps because women are the ultimate creators and the fiercest guardians of that which evolution has put in their charge) these illiterati seem to be very poorly educated where history in general — and the history of the libertarian movement in particular — are concerned. One of them actually quotes one of the original ideological expropriationists for the common good, collectivist anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, in his messages: “Property is theft.”

That’s like a Jew leaning on Adolf Eichmann for support.

They seem a little unendowed in the imagination department, too. I have spent my entire adult life writing novels about how the mechanics of civilization can be re-engineered to exclude the very concept of government.

I hereby sentence them to read The Probability Broach, Pallas, and especially Forge of the Elders. Just because the state has protected intellectual property rights in the past, that doesn’t mean intellectual property rights don’t have to be protected. Just because it’s difficult to imagine how, that doesn’t relieve us of the moral burden.

Copyright © 2010 L. Neil Smith. All rights reserved. Used by permission. For reprint rights email L. Neil Smith.

My own writings on “IP” are in previous columns here on J. Neil Schulman @ Rational Review:

Informational Property — Logorights

Copying Is Not Theft? How About Identity Theft?

Copying Is Not Theft? How About Forgery? Counterfeiting? Plagiarism?

–J. Neil Schulman

The Two Neils

J. Neil Schulman (Photo Left)
with L. Neil Smith (Photo Right),
July, 1998

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