Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Remembrance and Inspiration

Thanks to Al Barger for recalling the upcoming anniversary of the events at Tiananmen Square, in June 1989. Images

"...the Chinese military opened fire on a crowd of peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square. They directly slaughtered hundreds of non-violent young people on live television just to make the point that they were in charge."

For years, I have drawn inspiration from the unfathomable courage of a few individuals in the face of one of human history's greatest oppression machines, the People's Republic of China.

I decorate my work space with very little. I have one picture of Ame, and one picture of Alex. That's it. In my old home in Cleveland, I hung in my office an enormous print of Stuart Franklin's breathtaking image of raw courage and integrity. Whenever I thought I had it rough, I forced myself to look at that image. It never failed to get me off it, and back into action. Unfortunately, the print is larger than any wall of my cube at work.

Goethe said, "To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking."

I bought the poster because, at the time, I was struggling with my implementation if my thinking. It had previously been enough to merely be a young capitalist. The time had come to become a public advocate for freedom in all areas of life, and I was terrified. I was certain I would end up gunned down. Patrick Henry nailed me to a post by my shorts.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!"

Fact is, it will probably never come to that. However, should it, I'll think of the man with the briefcase.

Everyone should get to see the full video of the man with the briefcase and a bag, because despite the power inherent in such an image, Stuart's photograph still suffers the constraints of the medium. The column of tanks rolled, and he, armed only with his integrity, blocked the column's advance. The tank driver attempted to move around the man. The man moved to block the tanks.


What a worthy project it would be to find the name of this man. Patrick Henry is a giant, and Goethe ranks, but this man showed the world how it is done, and should be recognized as a giant in our times. Future generations need to be able to know that giants lived in all eras of human history, who they were, and that they need not be philosophers.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

A Just and Noble Cause

Edward Bowers, a California libertarian, is promoting the week of June 8-15 as the week to buy a particular book so as to try to pump the best-seller statistics, at least for a week. The book is called, "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do" by Peter McWilliams.

Medical marijuana isn't any kind of passion of mine, probably because I don't use the stuff. But Mr. McWilliams died because his government banned a product that, had he been taking it, he probably would have been alive today. If you puke every time you take food or swallow a pill you need to fight cancer, you will die quickly. Marijuana helps people keep food- and pills- down.

Most people who promote the War On Drugs tend to cite their belief in the morality of keeping harmful substances away from people.

In this case, clearly, marijuana was anything but a harmful substance. Was morality promoted by the death of Peter McWilliams? Maybe it's time, at long last, for a new policy. Maybe it's time for the drug warriors to consider weather or not Americans own themselves.
You Own Yourself

There it is- my philosophy boiled down to three words.

Note to everyone: this means, you own your body.

Clarification for those on 'The Right': This means, you can do what you want to do with your body, no matter how stupid it seems to someone else. You can pump drugs into it, sell it to be used sexually, take it to any country you wish it to visit- anything, so long as you do not initiate force or fraud on another human being.

Clarification for those on 'The Left': This means, when you use the body to earn money, you earned it, it's your money. By the way, the mind is part of the body.

It always has mystified me how people on 'The Left' can get that government has no place telling people how to use their minds and bodies in the home, but yet insist that government has a rightful place telling people how to use their minds and bodies in commerce. Similarly, 'The Right' can get that the mind and body should be free in commerce, so long as it isn't commerce that may satisfy the mind or body for pleasure at home. Talk about cognitive dissonance.
Good Game, Great Entertainment

Even though I was rooting for the Devils, the Ducks won Game Three in overtime, 3-2, to get back into the Series. They are now down two games to one. I enjoyed the game thoroughly. Devils' goalie Martin Brodeur made a rare boneheaded play to allow a goal, but his team came back to tie the score and send the game to overtime. Anaheim's Ruslan Salei scored the game-winner on an excellent faceoff win by Adam Oates.

The Ducks responded to the pressure to finally win a game and make the Series a contest. The Devils lost, but honorably so, fighting to the end.

Game Four is Monday night, 8pm Eastern, televised by ABC. I'll be glued to the set.