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01/09/2003 Archived Entry: "Recovering from the flu"

Privacy update:

Yesterday, a friend forwarded to me an article on airport "security," written by Penn of Penn and Teller -- the taller half of a wonderfully irreverent comedy duo. The article is a bit dated but it still heartened me to read of someone standing up for his rights against the storm troopers.

And, now, there is yet another reason for U.S. citizens *not* to fly...especially abroad. Not only do you have to "register" your personal info with the government upon exit and entry -- a travel requirement more draconian than those imposed by officials in Communist China, you also may lose your "rights" as an American citizen. "A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the government can hold U.S. citizens as enemy combatants during wartime without the constitutional protections afforded Americans in criminal prosecutions." The ruling was sparked by Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan and deemed to be an "enemy combatant." Translation: he is being denied such Constitutional rights as access to an attorney. Of course, the Bill of Rights never mentions "citizen" in its text; it extends these rights to all human beings within American jurisdiction...but let's not even discuss whether non-Americans have human rights because, clearly and for all practical purposes, they relinquish both human rights and dignity upon stepping into the United States. Now Americans who travel abroad for purposes deemed "improper" may be de facto relinquishing Constitutional protections.

On a more personal note:

Samuel Konkin III (SEK3) is associated with a new Foundation, which appears to be funded by John Fast. The Foundation for Social Justice is reportedly in the process of acquiring 501(c) status and states, as #1 in its mission statement: "[to] promote human (and animal) rights based on the Principle of Neutrality (equal rights and no discrimination for every individual, group, and viewpoint)." I've been asked to join the Board of Advisors and, although I wish the Foundation well, I'll have to explore what its commitment to animal rights entails. With five cats and two dogs, I qualify as an extreme animal lover but the concept of "animal rights" has never made any sense to me and I am cautious about associating with it. (I take a strict Rothbardian stand on the issue.)

I just received of "Sadan Ar Kapitalismen!" (forgive the absence of proper accents) -- a Swedish anthology assembled by Per Bylund, who was good enough to include one of my essays in translation. Great fun!

Meanwhile...back at ifeminists.com...there is real progress on transfering the site over to another 501(c) foundation. Louis James has verified that the Henry Hazlitt Foundation can legally do so without prejudicing the possibility of declaring bankruptcy, should that become the best choice available. I expect the situation will be resolved within the month.

And, now, a dose of Gracian!

"Look within the subject. Usually you will find things very much other than they appear to be, and ignorance, which does not see beyond the rind, is invited to disillusionment when the interior is revealed. The lie is always the first in everything; it impresses fools through its continued ubiquity. The truth is always encountered last, limping in late! Those men of judgment will know it is coming and will wait for it. It is only the very superficial who are taken in by the superficial deceit. The assured man lived retired within himself to be the more esteemed by his wise and judicious fellows."

Best to all,

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