Jim Ray Replies

Jonathan Wallace wrote:

Here is an early draft of my essay submitted in the hope you'll write a reply.

Hmmm. I thought Lizard was doing that, and I'm hesitant to take thunder from my ballot-access piece (if the Socialist-Workers agree with me, I can't be too far off). :^) Having said that, I am honored that you thought of me, and what follows are random thoughts.

I will begin with "affirmative action," which I like to call discrimination. I think that 2 wrongs don't make a right, and that government racial discrimination shocks the conscience. Because of the accident of history that is my name (middle = Milton, no relation AFAIK, there are zillions of Rays) I try to avoid this topic. Like abortion, it generates more heat than light, and I have never seen someone get convinced that he/she is wrong, so I mine other places for persuasion.

As to the tragedy of the commons, let's look to history. The ONLY unspoiled areas in many parts of the world are or were private land, with owners who were often (Horrors!) hunters like me, who like to eat what they kill. When you come diving with me :^) we can go visit Fairchild Tropical Gardens, a beautiful place now owned by the state which would never have developed its beauty without the private efforts of David Fairchild, the original owner.

That he chose to give his land to the state (probably under some restrictive covenants to keep them honest, though I haven't researched this) detracts nothing from his conservation. Rays have also improved species diversity on our Florida land much better than the state of Florida would have, and I've planted more trees than at least 9 out of 10 whining environmentalists, but that isn't the point. We did it out of Lizard like Greed in the case of the Oak trees. We didn't want to buy fence posts, and we didn't want the state to condemn our property by the side of the road and pay us less than it was worth when they could (and probably someday will) condemn the other land owner's property, and oaks make our land more valuable through their beauty.

I doubt we will cut them down very soon, but we may someday, and we are very likely to plant more when we do. (Please link to my Pennekamp letter here, if possible). I'd only add that, absent inheritance taxes, reef dynamiters would want to leave something valuable and lovely to their kids, and that FL's experience with commercial fishing and netting seems to belie your claim that Democratic solutions through politicians would work, though this could have to do with unfair ballot laws (which affect Greens just as they do Libertarians, you could link to my articles here if you like). I would add that you will only find utopia in the writings of our critics, not in the writings of Libertarians, who to a person say that all we can get is better, not perfection (and at this point, perhaps for the ultimate in emphasis, you might link to Dave Barry's article when the early stories of political criminality in my city were breaking -- note the date, and that he only scratched the surface)


An argument against Hayek would be out of character, and would require so much time that I'd want money, but suffice it to say that (unlike Lizard and Duncan, both of whom I respect immensely) I am a minarchist, and that there will someday be more, perhaps in an article I'm paid to write ;) on this.

Back to AA (I'm responding as I read you, off the top of my head) if govt. is going to mandate something, why not a labeling system rather than quotas?

"Farrakhan's fry-pan of Allah will not admit white devils!"

"Duke's Far-right grille will not admit black devils!"

("Ray's tribute to the Firengi admits anyone with the green stuff!")

I have a feeling that, given these three choices, I know the establishment where we could find Jonathan, despite his qualms about libertarianism. :^)

Wouldn't labeling be good in allowing us to prevent confrontations with the intolerant, and is it possible to coerce -- rather than convince -- David Duke and Louis Farrakhan to be tolerant? Men with guns aren't the way to make people change their minds, they only work for putting people in jail!

Finally, I think you'd agree that the kayak doesn't belong to all of us, only the park does. I am glad to have private land to shoot safely on (a subject you didn't cover, but one I am sure we also disagree on). Certain things, like kayaks and land, require care and stewardship in order to last. Individuals AND states are imperfect stewards, for proof see the (much more diverse) private land of Hawaii next to some public parks. When we try to change things, we often add human "moral" values that hurt nature. (example: "Predators are bad, let's kill all the wolves and panthers.") Killing the FL panther wasn't private greedy landowner policy, it was STATE policy. If only memory and forgiveness for mistakes were applied equally to government and private landowners you'd have a far stronger argument. As it is, I'm not convinced the scales are fairly balanced in many minds.

Forgive my ramblings, it's late, and I've had a few of my home brewed beers. Heck, you should use Lizard's piece instead of this!