The Southwestern Missouri Libertarian
Issue #8, Best of Issues 1-7
October 1994

Copyright 1994. People are at liberty to copy this newsletter in whole or in part for non-profit purposes provided they properly attribute copied portions to The Southwestern Missouri Libertarian.

Newsletter Purpose & Intent: To Educate, inform, and keep in touch with members and sympathizers of the Libertarian Party. The views expressed herein are those of the editor and writers of this newsletter, not necessarily those of the Libertarian Party. Now that "Show Me Freedom," the official MO LP paper is back up and kicking, this newsletter will devote full time to pursuing Libertarian ideology. This paper has never been "objective" and I don't intend to start now. The dirty truth is good enough for me. If anyone out there is able to string words together well enough to avoid embarrassment to both themselves and this paper, their contributions will certainly be welcomed by the editor.

Editor: Martin Lindstedt



Liberty's Calendar

Shots Heard Around the Immediate Vicinity

Practical Issues & Answers -- Should Ownership of Assault Weapons Be Limited?

Whose Penny Is This?

Living With The White Chickens

The Majority Was Always Right

** Monologue ** *

Hmm, it makes one wonder what kind of teenagers these be. Probably not Mennonites.

And oh goody! Along with cheap, effective health care Slick Willie wants to give us cheap, effective gun control, then cheap, effective totalitarianism. But as with most of his gifts, quote, "we will have to pay for it." Small, non regal, we.
Issue #1, October, 1993

After Gennifer Flowers alleged that she had an affair and that she had gotten a state job because of this, Slick Willie denied it, even though she had a tape recording of someone who sounded a lot like him telling her to deny the whole thing. Even on 60 Minutes Bill Clinton never did 'fess straight up as to whether he had an affair with Gennifer. Even now, while Bill and Hillary tell everyone that the charges are outrageous, nobody will come straight out and say they are false.

Have the two Arkansas State Troopers come forward out of a sense of revenge because they wanted better jobs and plenty of hush money and they didn't get it? Maybe. But Bill Clinton's problem with people who knew him in Arkansas is that he can't afford to pay off everybody who knew him for who he is and what he has done.
Issue #3, Jan.-Feb. 1994

This comes to $7,200 a year. The income-tax deduction that the parents get per child is less than half of that. The end result is that middle-income married couples can't afford more than two children anymore, if that many. It would seem that the earth, or at least this portion of it will be inherited by the poor, as the future of the middle class (and America) is being taxed out of existence.
Issue # 3, Jan.-Feb. 1994

Proponents of the term-limit law say that states have always had a right to regulate their elections, and term limits are an extension of that state's rights.

Opponents of term limits say that the term limit law imposes an additional burden on candidates not originally mentioned in the Constitution, which lists only age, citizenship, and state residency as qualifications for Congressmen.

U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley was one of the plaintiffs against the term-limits law. This is probably the first and only time he will plead enumerated rights and qualifications held in the original Constitution as a limit to political power.

In any case, Judge Dwyer's decision on Feb. 10 will be appealed to higher courts so that unelected judges can rule in favor of continuously elected politicians to the detriment of the will of the people who held referendums in many states.
Issue #4, Mar.-Apr. 1994

Lawmakers, their staffs and other cronies are allowed to buy used furniture and equipment for their own use at a dime on the dollar or less.

Both House and Senate neglected to get bids on major purchases. The Senate has misused postage meters and had Christmas cards and calendars printed and sent out at taxpayer expense to some constituents.

She didn't say that the legislators had violated the laws, but she was turning copies of her audit to law enforcement officials. As if they would bite the pails that slop them.
Issue #5, May-June 1994

The Clinton administration has signed a law barring protest outside abortion clinics. And dependent, lackey Federal judges will back them up. Abortions are paid by federal funds made available in part by taxing pro-life activists.

Rather than risk $250,000 fines and years in prison, it would be far better if pro-life activists stayed home and refused on moral grounds to support the government and pay taxes. By starving the Federal monster to death, pro-lifers could help sponsor a big-government abortion everyone could live with.
Issue #6, July 4, 1994

North Korea, as a sovereign country, has as much (or as little) right to create, deploy and use nuclear weapons as any other nation. Like any other nation, they sign and break treaties at will. If they find it in their best interests to do all this, they will do so. They are not bound by our interests. They are neither stupid or cowardly.

The US complaining about Koreans getting the bomb is like a big fat rich man living in a mansion with lots of .50 cal. Browning machine-guns bitching about the poor yellow trash owning a snub-nosed .38 Saturday night special. The rest of the neighborhood will cheer on the underdog.

So what will the First Crook do about Korea? He will speak loud, carry a small stick and piss down his leg if the Koreans show fight. After all, they have a whole lot less to lose than we do. And they know it. Issue #6, July 4, 1994

There are two lawsuits to purge Hancock II from the ballot. One, by Peter Herschend of Branson, vice-president of the State Board of Education and head of Silver Dollar City, wants to question, then eliminate 34 signatures in St. Louis so that Hancock II can be disqualified.

The second lawsuit, by Tom Davis, a former president of the State Board of Education, says that Hancock II improperly deals with 5-11 distinct Constitutional subjects and thus it illegally amends several sections of the Missouri constitution.

A "radical" notion such as letting the peasants decide how much they should pay in taxes might very well upset and ignore the safeguards against tax relief placed by their would-be rulers. But Hancock II got on the ballot, fair and square. The boiler will explode if taxpayers have no other choice than revolt.
Issue #7, Sept.-Oct. 1994

In the Springfield Area Contact: Phillip W. Horras, State Chairman 1530 E. Berkeley Springfield, MO 65804 Home Phone (417) 886-3328 Office Phone (417) 889-1776 WATS Line 1-800-838-1776

In the Joplin Area contact: Martin Lindstedt, Renegade Intellectual Rt. 2, Box 2008 Granby, MO 64844 (417) 472-6901

Liberty's Calendar

Springfield Meeting: Every third Tuesday of the month, at 7:30 p.m. at the Southwest Missouri Libertarian Party Headquarters, 2005-I East Kearney, Springfield, MO. 65803. Phone 417-889-1776. The Party headquarters is among a small suite of buildings next to a Walmart on Kearney Street.

Springfield Public Access Cable TV: Liberty This Week shows a variety of Libertarian oriented shows at the following times each week.

** Shots Heard 'Round the Immediate Vicinity **

* A Real War On Drugs *

As America's war on drugs drags on with no end in sight, many Americans are growing impatient for a real solution, one that will stamp out the drug problem decisively and quickly, and end the constant drain the war imposes on natural resources. I have therefore presented a few modest proposals to win the war on drugs:

1. Put William Bennett back in charge of anti-drug operations. Since his old office of "Drug Czar" proved ineffective, his new portfolio will be "Drug God.''

2. All persons entering or leaving US. borders will have their luggage inspected by drug-sniffing dogs and be strip-searched for illegal narcotics.

3. All property and assets of any drug offender, together with that of his immediate family, shall be seized and used to further prosecute the war on drugs, wills notwithstanding. (See proposal 5).

4. All highway patrolmen will be required to stop at least one car per hour and search it for narcotics. Warrants will not be required.

5. To save lengthy and expensive trials, patrolmen are to judge all drug cases in the field and pass sentence on suspects. The only acceptable sentence will be death. Sentence will be executed in the field, by the arresting officer. Violator's remains will be left on the roadside as a warning to potential future offenders, to be removed by the highway department before they become hazardous to motorists' health.

6. Officers who do not immediately burn any confiscated drugs will be shot also, as well as any officers that inhale smoke from said burning drugs, regardless of whether they enjoyed it.

7. If it is found that an officer has mistakenly shot an innocent suspect, he shall not be held accountable provided he acted in good faith. Any officer found to have a discernible pulse is presumed to be acting in good faith.

8. Any house found to be used for distributing drugs shall be burned down, as well as any other houses on the block, thus encouraging neighbors of drug users to eradicate local drug problems themselves.

9. Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Thailand and other sources of the drug trade will be H-bombed until they are no longer capable of growing coca, poppies or marijuana. This solution offers an attractive way to dispose of America's otherwise useless nuclear arsenal.

10. The U.S. Constitution will be suspended for the duration of the drug war, or until it is determined whether said Constitution was written by drug dealers as protective legislation.

Some have said that the foregoing proposals are somewhat harsh, but what the hey? War is hell.



* Tax-paid abortion *

The so-called "Freedom of Choice Act'' or a national health plan paying for abortion will present millions of pro-life Americans with the dilemma of paying taxes to finance abortion in gross violation of their most fundamental religious convictions or being penalized, subject to arbitrary confiscation and possibly imprisonment.

The First Amendment states clearly that "Congress shall make no law. . . prohibiting the free exercise'' of religion. As a Catholic firmly convinced that abortion is the brutal murder of the innocent and the most grievous transgression of the law of God, I cannot be legally required to pay taxes to support the abomination. And I will not. Every true pro-life American will be placed in the same unenviable position. If either of these enormities becomes law, Washington will have presented the nation with the choice between God and Caesar. I opt for God. I shall accordingly refuse to pay federal or state income taxes.

Gerald P. McAtee St. Louis

*** Practical Issues & Answers ***

Part Four of a continuing series this election year. This column intends to give Libertarian politicians running for office a practical guide on issues to bring up and exploit to the dismay of Demo-Publicans, who have no idea of how to solve the problems they have created. This issue, the editor takes a break from writing in favor of this learned article from attorney J. Kirk Rahm from Warrensburg, Missouri.

** Should Ownership of Military-Style Rifles be Restricted to **
** American Military and Police Forces? **

Good Intentions Do Not Equal Good Public Policy

Most proponents of legislation to prohibit American citizens from owning semi-automatic rifles with high magazine capacity have good intentions. Good intentions, however, do not necessarily lead to good public policy. The Crusades were advocated and fought by people with good intentions.

In today's anti-gun environment, someone advocating continuation of the American tradition of law-abiding citizens being able to lawfully own military-style rifles is analogous to someone advocating against Prohibition's passage in 1919. Passing the 18th Amendment was considered necessary to prevent the problems of alcohol consumption because religious leaders, the press, and many well-intentioned politicians created an anti-alcohol atmosphere similar to the anti-gun atmosphere in which we presently live. They were wrong then, just as they are wrong now. The passage of the 18th Amendment solved no problems. It instead made criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens and caused an unprecedented explosion of crime, violence, and law-enforcement bureaucracy, all of which continue to plague our society long after the repeal of prohibition.

In Germany, in 1928, the then-democratic government enacted, with good intentions, comprehensive gun-control laws. When the NAZI government took power in 1933 and gained access to the firearm purchase and registration papers created pursuant to the 1928 gun-control legislation, the Nazis implemented a public policy that limited ownership of military-style firearms (and most other firearms) to the military and law-enforcement agencies, just as is now being proposed in America. The tyranny and genocide that followed could have been prevented or limited had there been extensive ownership of military-style rifles by private citizens in Germany.

The Second Amendment and the Reasons For Its Existence

Proponents of the Feinstein Amendment and similar legislation have argued that the Second Amendment does not prevent comprehensive restrictions on firearms. Unfortunately, they may be correct, not because their arguments are sound, but because the Constitution has historically been ignored when there is strong political support for an unconstitutional action by the government. During the American Civil War the right to a writ of habeas corpus was suspended. During World War II people of Japanese descent were rounded up and put in concentration camps.

Our founding fathers enacted the Second Amendment because they were concerned about the potential for abuse of government power.

Their concern was well founded. Post-Revolutionary American history includes tyranny and genocide inflicted by government soldiers and law-enforcement officers against unarmed Indians and colored people. The potential for government tyranny is still with us.

The 1992 deaths of Randy Weaver's wife and son in Idaho were without legal or moral justification. It was only last year that American men, women and children were unjustifiably killed by bullets, fire and tanks directed and controlled by federal agents (both law enforcement and military). It is questionable whether any crimes were committed by the victims of the Waco assault. The jury that tried the Waco defendants found almost all of the charges brought to be unfounded. It is virtually undisputed that the government agents were untruthful in many respects in describing their conduct and the events that occurred.

The men and women killed at Waco were members of a church, attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights to religious freedom. The children were clearly innocent. The justification given for the attack by the BATF was suspicion that some members of the Davidian community possessed firearms restricted by federal law to people with a permit who had paid an appropriate tax. That possibility didn't justify government agents viciously attacking the entire church membership and killing most of them; and it didn't justify the government's dishonesty and destruction of evidence that followed.

The potential for government tyranny exists in all governments. That is the reason for the Second Amendment.

Justification for Ownership of Military-Style Rifles.

The criminal stereotype about people who own military-style rifles is wrong. Most people who own military-style rifles are hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens who take justifiable pleasure and pride in their freedom as Americans to own firearms.

What about the argument that "assault rifles" are only good for shooting people? Many owners of military-style rifles participate in organized rifle competitions with their rifles. It is noteworthy that thefts of guns and other equipment at shooting competitions are extraordinarily rare. Similarly, accidents at pistol and rifle competitions are very rare. It is far more dangerous to drive down the highway, swim in a private swimming pool, or walk on a golf course than to be at a shooting competition where there are numerous so-called "assault rifles" and "high capacity" magazines.

Although shooting competitions and hunting with firearms, including military-style assault rifles, have been important parts of our American society and tradition since the inception of our country, it is a mistake to conclude that the only proper purpose for a firearm is to shoot holes in paper or to hunt animals. The purpose intended by the Second Amendment is to preserve human life and a free society.

Military-style rifles may have an unattractive image, but they have actually been involved in few crimes; and there is no reason to think that a ban on them will reduce their use in crimes. Banning semi-automatic "assault weapons" because they are not "hunting" rifles, or because of a perception that they are a "weapon of choice" by gang members will not prevent criminals from acquiring or using the weapons.

Such a ban will, however, result in more government regulation, more government bureaucracy, fewer civil rights for everyone, and destruction of an important part of American tradition. This ban will also facilitate government tyranny and genocide such as have occurred in the past in societies where only law enforcement and military personnel have the legal right to possess military-style rifles.

Our country remains free so long as our law-abiding citizens are permitted to own personal rifles comparable to those possessed by the military and the police. The opposite may not be true.

Relationship Between Guns, Suicide and Crime

Proponents of a ban on military-style rifles and other semi-automatic firearms sometimes refer to suicide statistics and general crime statistics, in effect arguing that all guns are bad and that military-style guns are, therefore, especially bad. These arguments warrant a response.

First, the suicide statistics argument ignores the fact that suicides can be committed with any style of firearm, or with no firearm at all. In Japan, where there is very restricted firearm ownership, the suicide rate is higher than in the United States.

What about crimes? Does a high level of gun ownership cause crime? The crime rates are low in Switzerland and Israel, despite the extensive ownership and possession of both semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms. The bottom line is that every society is different and there is no evidence that the ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens causes suicide or crime. In this country the only relationship between restrictions on the ownership and possession of firearms and crime is the increased crime rate that results from such restrictions.

Most crimes occur when a police officer is not present (about 99 percent of the time, according to the FBI). Therefore, if there is to be any defense to a threatened robbery, rape or murder, it is necessarily self-defense. Laws that prohibit or unreasonably restrict firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens serve only the criminal because they guarantee criminals defenseless victims, as in New York City, Chicago, and Washington D.C. None of us want to see the rest of America have crime rates comparable to these cities.

What happens in this country when criminals are not guaranteed defenseless victims? Vermont is a remarkable example. Vermont was ranked as the safest state in the U.S. in the book Crime State Rankings, 1994 (published by Morgan Quitno, Lawrence, Kansas). Vermont's crime rate per 100,000 population is among the lowest in the nation. Vermont's entire western border is against New York, and its entire southern border is against Massachusetts. Vermont is not only the safest state in this country; it is the only state in this country in which a non-criminal adult (resident or non-resident) can lawfully possess a concealed handgun without training or a permit requirement.

Is this phenomena of greater safety where criminals are not guaranteed defenseless victims limited to the eastern part of the United States, or does it also apply in the Midwest? Iowa is the third safest state in the country (ranked behind Vermont and Maine). Missouri, on the other hand, is the 14th most dangerous state and Kansas is the 15th most dangerous state. Missouri and Kansas are in a minority of 14 states that guarantee criminals defenseless victims by making it unlawful for their citizens to carry a concealed weapon. (Arizona passed a concealed-carry statute in 1994, reducing the number of states with no provision for ordinary citizens to lawfully carry a concealed firearm from 15 states to 14 states.)

In Vermont and Iowa, citizens are permitted to take responsibility for their lives and safety. Our state and national laws should encourage individual responsibility and trust in our citizens rather than passivity and dependence on others to provide for our safety and welfare. We should model our laws after the safest places in the United States, not the most dangerous.


Passage of legislation prohibiting non-criminal American citizens from owning military-style rifles has the potential of causing a more disastrous impact on our society than did the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919. Like Prohibition, laws preventing ownership of military-style rifles by law-abiding American citizens will result in an explosion of federal bureaucracy, further destruction of the civil rights of all Americans, an increase in crime, and perhaps ultimate tyranny. Ownership of semi-automatic firearms with "high capacity" magazines should not be restricted to military and law-enforcement personnel.

** Whose Penny Is This? **

I had a dream the other night. I had finished trying to understand the 1040 income tax book and the form sent with it. I couldn't reconcile it with Constitutional guarantees set down in the Bill of Rights. Eventually I gave up on it and went to bed. Soon I fell into a deep sleep and had the most curious dream.

Jesus Christ was on the earth again, not as a conqueror, but just making a reconnaissance as to the depths to which mankind had degenerated. He was trying to decide whether mankind deserves his official second coming to set things right or if he should just not bother at all. He told me as much.

Jesus was visiting Washington, DC for the day. Quietly he sat in the gallery of both Senate and House, not saying a word. When he went to lunch he told me, "Your Scribes and Pharisees still devise heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne upon the little people, but they won't crook a little finger to bear it themselves. And to think that I called my generation one of vipers."

Then we went in front of the Treasury building. We watched IRS bureaucrats come and go. So I asked, "Master, should one of your followers fill out an income tax form when we both know that some of the money will go to fund abortions and other evils that you despise. I know what you said about rendering to Caesar and all, but what is your answer now?"

"Whose form is it?" Jesus asked.

"The government's," I said.

"Then let them fill it out, and to their satisfaction." Jesus said. "If it is your form, then they have no legitimate complaint as to how you choose to fill it out."

What a delicious dream! It was a shame that I woke up then.

** Living With the White Chickens **

Most people nowadays no longer live on a farm. People are divorced from seeing what they eat. As a result, they never see how animal society parallels human society.

Last year I bought twenty-five Cornish-cross chicks along with a 50 pound bag of feed for twenty dollars from a farmer's cooperative. These chicks are supposedly the same as what the big poultry producers like Tyson and Con-Agra provide their growers. They are bred to produce one pound of meat per every 1.69 lbs. of feed. Tyson scientists live for the day when they can breed a chicken that produces one pound of ninety-five percent white meat per one pound input of feed. Presumably the chicken will be as bald as a Mexican hairless dog and able to fix the nutrients for its bones from the air. This chicken will be an ingesting, non-excreting, protoplasmic machine created for the purpose of providing soft, white flesh for urban customers to eat. Nope, the chicken won't have an asshole, as an asshole is nature's way of encouraging waste. But let's not mentally explore the ramifications of these decisions, especially at dinnertime.

These chickens are placed on the farm the day they are hatched. Six weeks to the day after they are put on ground, they are collected by minimum-wage boys and men, placed into trucks, sent to the poultry plants where they are killed and cut up by minimum-wage women workers under unsanitary conditions, and sold as tender broilers. Some birds are allowed to live for an additional week or two so that they will be larger while still tender.

These chicks are bred to grow. Look at one of them closely when they are less than a week old and you can see that chick grow, expand. Of course, these chicks spend all their waking hours eating medicated feed loaded with antibiotics that hastens the spread of drug-resistant bacteria that might get loose and kill both men and white chickens someday.

This rapid growth rate comes at a cost. These chickens are nearly as dumb as a white turkey. They only live to eat. They have difficulty in surviving outside their houses. They seldom lay an egg and then are not able hatch it out. They remind me of the vast majority of people living today in this country.

You cannot enslave a white chicken as long as you have him chained up to his feed trough and water dish. The concept of freedom has no meaning to a white chicken. I have some Brown Leghorns in the same pen. These wilder chickens eat sparingly and I must clip their wings to keep them inside the pen. If allowed to they would sneak away and lay eggs on the sly, trying to hatch them out. White chickens are no problem. A two foot fence will suffice for them. They have no ambition to get outside the pen. There is food inside. White chicken people are no different. Give them what they call "success" and they won't even think of jumping the fence. They'll sit inside, fearful of the predators roaming outdoors. When driving through suburban neighborhoods, I'll say that it looks like a white-chicken neighborhood and my libertarian friends know what I mean.

White chickens are highly cannibalistic, much like rats and human beings. Last October I was given eighteen white chicken pullets by my brother. Since it was a cold, rainy day, I threw the pullets in the same pen as the rest of the older white chickens. I had thrown a bit of corn in the pen earlier. A half hour later I looked out the window and saw the older white chickens pecking the livers and gizzards out of seven of the white pullets. They wanted protein and they chose the best way to get it. I hurriedly separated the smaller, weaker pullets away from the bigger, stronger, white chickens. But there are differences even in the lowest rungs of white chicken society. The remaining eleven pecked their weaker members to death and ate them too, until I was down to four and their society was down to its allotted norm.

White chickens are concerned only with eating, so when I take one of their number to eat, they don't blink an eye about the fate of their unlucky companion. I have been spurred by one of their wilder cousins, a rooster that I allow to run free, when I turned my back one day while taking a white chicken to slaughter. I released the chicken, slapped the rooster about a bit and penned him up, then re-caught the white chicken and slaughtered it. I have a sneaking admiration for the rooster risking his life to save his big, fat cousin living the high life of white chicken society even when he himself is on the edge of it. I'll eat that rooster last.

If white chickens are not killed and eaten when they are young, they can get so big and fat that their legs break under the weight. I've picked up white chickens that died, as near as I could tell, of a heart attack. Their feathers fall out, especially around their rear ends, making for a vaguely obscene display. Their hides become tougher than shoe leather. Skinning and pulling the thin hide of an old white chicken is more of a strain than any possum, coon, or cow than I've ever done. Heck with ostrich-skin boots, I've got something better. The meat is best stewed. If you fry or bake these old white chickens, you had best have strong jaws and all your teeth.

I get the same feeling of being in a pen full of old white chickens whenever I attend a United We Stand, America meeting or visit a nursing home. I just do.

White chickens seldom lay an egg. When they do, they leave it where it dropped on the ground. I have tried hatching the eggs in an incubator but they were infertile. I wonder if Tyson scientists artificially inseminate the white chickens they breed, like they do with white turkeys?

In any case, looking at the demographic figures, I get the feeling that we aren't much different than those white chickens. We abort 1.5 million of our young yearly and have heaped debts created for our convenience upon their narrow shoulders. The only people who seem to have children anymore are the poor, black people, and recent immigrants to our country. Brown Leghorn people. They live on the outskirts of polite society and create the only potential wealth that poor people have more of than the middle class or the rich.

I am going to get rid of the last two of my white chickens. I'll give them to my mother, an old woman who will patiently pluck and stew them because she values them, having missed a meal or two in her lifetime. The white chickens have no Moses to plead for them, that they be spared from their disgusted god.

** The Majority Was Always Right **

Once upon a time there lived a large tribe of roughly 10,000 cannibals who were governed according to democratic principles. Each year they elected representatives to propose laws that they endorsed by public referendum. Since it was commonly held that the majority was always right, no provision was made to ensure the rights of the minority.

While vegetables and edible tubers grew and flourished with abandon in the jungle, they were low in protein. Opportunities to eat meat were limited. One hundred feet or more above the jungle floor, monkeys and birds lived, plenty of meat seemingly available, but difficult to the point of impossibility to obtain. The dense treetops were impenetrable to the arrows and slung stones of even the most clever huntsman.

The hot, humid climate made it difficult for foodstuffs to be stored for any length of time, even dried vegetables. The tribesmen found it impossible to make provision for the future by saving a surplus, but as long as new, fertile fields were created in the jungle while the old, worn-out ones were abandoned they would seldom starve. But the warm, dank jungle occasionally bred a fungus that would wreak havoc among their domesticated plants and then starvation and hard times for all occurred. The few plants that survived the fungus were used as the seed stock for future farming.

Due to these harsh realities, the practice of human cannibalism arose, then flourished. It became socially acceptable, even in times of plenty. So now that there was no taboo against the practice, the question became a matter of whom would be eaten. Naturally enough, it was decided that it would be those who were on the bottom rungs of society: Prisoners of war, slaves, women too old to bear children, the aged, criminals, and even a few members of the higher classes who had questioned the wisdom of allowing the practice of cannibalism to spread.

At first, warfare with neighboring tribes provided plenty of human flesh to eat. The Tribe's warriors were successful in pursuing The Tribe's wars and would usually gain control of the battlefield. Then there would be a great feast upon the dead. Prime cuts of succulent young meat, usually properly bled and without surplus fat. If the carnage had been sufficiently great and there was too much left to spoil, the victors would often invite the losers to share in the meal before it rotted in the heat. During this temporary truce, both sides could also bid a tearful farewell to any prisoners taken in that battle by the other side.

For hundreds of years, as long as the elected rulers of The Tribe didn't get too greedy, this system worked fine. These wars helped get rid of the more stupid and aggressive of the lower classes, those who never held public office, those who might demand change. A small, quick war provided plenty of human flesh to eat with a minimum of waste. If neighboring tribes were eliminated entirely, so went the reasoning, who would we have to eat next?

But as time went on the wars got larger, bloodier, more wasteful. The smaller, more pacific neighboring tribes were eliminated and replaced by larger tribes governed by despots aware of the current reality of eat or be eaten. The governing elected rulers became electorially entrenched and corrupt, even though they had split into two factions. Each faction wanted the same thing -- power -- but they succeeded in letting the ruled think that there were effective differences between the factions.

The last century started out well. For the first half of the century, the wars were won. Then, a few decades later, The Tribe fought a war they seemingly couldn't lose. The Tribe fought against a distant, much smaller tribe, seemingly easy pickings. But this tribe lived on the savanna, and was equipped for the conditions there. The Tribe fought many a battle and won them all, but they eventually lost the war. The smaller tribe didn't need to exist on human flesh and they denied The Tribe easy access to the battlefields. Eventually The Tribe made ''peace with honor'' and left the far-off tribe to its victory.

But this war cost The Tribe more than a few of its young men. For the first time ever The Tribe had lost a war. The neighboring tribes took notice. The internal affairs of The Tribe were torn by recriminations as to why they had lost the war or had even fought it in the first place. Why had the elected officials not fought in the front ranks? Why were their sons exempt from battle? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

For the first time ever, these warlike people were afraid or too cynical to effectively fight another war. But meat had to be obtained somewhere. So for the first time in living memory, the Change faction pushed to a vote the following question: Who, of our society, should we eat? The Change faction proposed that the two percent of those who were the fattest should, since they obviously were the most privileged of society, be eaten first. From those who have to those who need.

The Traditionalist faction argued that it would be much better to return to the traditions that made The Tribe great. Eat the aged, the slaves (those who were left), anyone who was a drain upon society. Fat people are signs that the gods favor The Tribe, and so should be spared. Both factions agreed that those who held office should be exempt from sacrifice since they were so sorely needed. It was commonly agreed that eating select members of the populace was necessary for the public good, the only differences were as to whom they should be.

This opened up a great debate among The Tribe as a whole. People developed good reasons as to why other people should be eaten and why they themselves should be spared. It got so ridiculous that even the aged, who always voted and were a group that few politicians ever angered, came up with the supposition that since they had sacrificed so much for The Tribe in their day, that the younger generation had a duty to support their parents and thus the young should be eaten first. The fat people argued that The Tribe was fatty-bashing although a few of the smarter ones tried to lose weight or run for office. A number of laws were passed so as to increase the number of criminals available for sacrifice. One law passed was that no one could bad-mouth the practice of cannibalism. A number of the most foolish and wise were eaten because of this new regulation.

Eventually, the law authorizing the eating of fat people passed. Soon after all the fat people were eaten, a famine due to crop failure stalked the land. Since the Traditionalists were now a minority, a new law passed and they were eaten. Only the Change faction supporters were left. Since the famine continued, Change faction officials had to propose and carry out a law mandating that the elderly be eaten next. They were, and this law would have mightily pleased the Traditionalists if any had been left. Soon after the last old person was eaten and they were beginning to eat the younger female children and those women approaching menopause, the crops came in and the flesh-weary tribesmen stopped eating the children and started saving the older women for snack food.

The neighboring tribes warred with the remnants of The Tribe and took most of them captive. They sold the youngest, strongest, those who would fetch the highest price to men of another race who came in large ships and who paid for slaves with bottles of rum and guns to gain more slaves. The rest of The Tribe were eaten or they learned to survive on the margins of the lands they had left. Twenty years after the famine, their name was no longer remembered, their language was no longer spoken on the tongues of men.

Moral: While the majority should rule, it had better respect the rights of the minority lest it forfeit legitimacy and perish. No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

WHAT IS THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY? The Libertarian Party is the third-largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. Over 100 Libertarians hold elective office or appointive public office. Libertarian Party members participate in a variety of educational and political activities aimed at restoring America's commitment to enterprise and civil liberties. The Libertarian Party is proud of the progress it has made during its short history, against what many saw as insurmountable odds.

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Missouri Libertarian party membership costs $15 annually. Along with your membership fee you get the official newsletter, Show Me Freedom. SMF covers statewide Libertarian news and has been recently greatly improved. So for a good deal for both yourself and our cause, send 15 bucks to the Missouri Libertarian Party, PO Box 32731, Kansas City, MO 64171

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End -- The Southwestern Missouri Libertarian Issue 8, "Best of" October 1994 =====================================================================