-The Free View-
February 6, 2001
403 weeks until election day
In This Issue:
-Articles and Links
-Accepting submissions for GreenLiberty.org
-Lance View: Feeling Better About Each Other
-How to Unsubscribe/Subscribe
"A little rebellion now and then is a good thing."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1787
Articles and Links
Belgium legalizes personal pot use
(Thanks to Freedom News ( http://free-market.net ) for this link)
Freedom News from Free-Market.net
Freedom News Daily is the best newsletter on freedom I know of. It never fails to have relevant and important stories concerning freedom. Every day, they send out about 20 links to great articles from sources all over the web. Every day, I read at least 5 or 6 of them...and the headlines and short explanatory clips help me keep in touch with all sorts of happenings. Do yourself some good and go to http://free-market.net/news/ and subscribe to this list. While you're there, spend some time at Free-Market.net. They are a freedom resource without equal.
Anthem, by Ayn Rand - full text online
No other writer has influenced my thinking more than Ayn Rand. Since I was 15, she has led me to a better understanding of myself, my fellow humans, and the role of government, and of force. "Anthem" is her shortest book, and a good intro to her philosophy. I found a copy of it online and I felt I should pass it on to you. It's a quick read- right around an hour or two- and well worth it.
Check it out: http://www.netropolis.org/hash/rand/anthem.html
Accepting Submissions for GreenLiberty.org
The newest site being developed by my non-profit arm, Future Solutions, is GreenLiberty.org. This site could very well be the kernel of what becomes the next voter revolution.
At GreenLiberty.org, we seek to form a synthesis between the noble goals of the Green Party, and the essential principles of the Libertarian Party. In essence, we are a group of folks that think that freedom is the best way to achieve social justice, environmental sanity, and so on...and we mean to prove it.
GreenLiberty.org is up ( http://greenliberty.org ), but it is under construction in a pretty big way. We are accepting articles, essays, and links that will help us develop a well-rounded site to present to the world a new plan for governance and society- one that will both make sure no one is left behind, and will ensure maximum freedom for individuals.
There are about 5 essays up on the site right now, corresponding to 5 of the Ten Key Values of the Green Party. If you would like to write an article on one of the other 5 Key Values, or anything else that supports the GreenLiberty vision, please e-mail me and let me know.
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Lance View: Feeling Better About Each Other
I live in a very rural area in Northern California, at the end of about two miles of dirt road. In fact, I've lived three places in the same area in the past three years, and each place was basically at the end of a mile or two of dirt road.
In that time, I've noticed a phenomena that hadn't really struck me before. I've seen it before, but I've never had such an extended opportunity to think about it. What I've noticed is that people who pass each other on dirt roads almost always wave to each other. On the next road out, people wave sometimes, but noticeably less. By the third road out, when I'm heading out to civilization, and the speed limit creeps up a bit, the odds of being waved to are pretty slim.
Is it simply speed that determines whether we extend this courtesy of the road to each other? I don't think that's it. I think it has more to do with proximity. When we're on the roads near home, we feel like the people passing us are probably our neighbors (though we probably have never met), and we extend them a special courtesy for neighborly folks.
Ponder this: Suppose you saw one of your neighbors, who you hadn't met but knew they lived nearby, on the side of the road near your home, with their car hood open. Would you stop to see if they needed help, assuming you weren't in a great rush? I almost definitely would. I've been helped by the roadside many times, by both strangers and neighbors, and I like to do the same for others.
But suppose the person broken down near your home was not familiar? If you didn't recognize them, would you be as likely to stop and offer help? I know most of us would like to say yes to that, and I think that most times I would probably be pretty likely to stop. But I think I'd be less than honest if I didn't say I might be a little more inclined to cruise on by if I didn't know, or at least recognize the person. These days, fear of roving anti-social lunatics is hard to ignore, and that fear even creeps into me on my worse days.
Hitchhikers are a great example of this. For the longest time, I didn't pick up hitchhikers, unless they looked really, really harmless. I generally would never pick up men, or anyone I thought could get the better of me if they wanted to. The point is that I assumed the worst- any hitchhiker was greeted with suspicion. But lately, my faith in people has risen, and with it, my fear and distrust has fallen.
Let me share a story, and maybe you'll see what I've seen. I think that there is a lot of cynicism out there, and that people tend to believe the worst about each other. My experience has shown me that the worst is seldom true.
A year ago or so, my friend Edie and I were driving back home on I-80. The car we were driving doesn't have a gas gauge, and we were guessing as to whether we had enough gas to make it to the next station. We didn't. We ran out of gas on the side of Route 80. It was about 3 in the morning. We had no cellphone, and no idea where the nearest gas station was. What's worse, we broke down on a really steep downgrade, and every vehicle that passed us was going super-fast- and most of them were tractor trailers, due to the hour.
After about 20 minutes of trying to flag down passing truck drivers, it became apparent that there was no chance they would even have time to stop, if they noticed us at all. I was just gearing up to pick a direction and start walking, when, amazingly, a truck slowed down and pulled over. I went up to the driver, amazed that he had found time to stop, and he told me that another driver had seen us broken down, and had radioed back asking someone to stop for us.
Now, maybe I'm cynical too, but I hadn't even thought of that, and it struck me as a great example of how we still care for each other when we can. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
The truck driver told us that there was a gas station just a mile or two up thataway, but he was going thisaway and couldn't bring us there. I was happy to be pointed in the right direction, and glad it was only that far. Just as I was getting ready to start walking again, the police showed up.
It turns out that walking on the highway is illegal, and so they didn't want me to do that. We convinced them to bring us to the gas station, but they said that they couldn't transport gasoline due to regulations, and so we would have to find our own way back to the car- without walking on the highway.
So we had been helped out twice, and we had our gas, but we were still stuck. We waited at the station for someone to pull in, and no one did. We called the cab companies to try and get a ride, but none were available. We spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to get back to our car.
Suddenly, the gas station operator offered to let us use his car to go fill up our car with gas. He had clearly taken quite a while to come around to the decision, and he was a bit nervous- but he gave his car to two total strangers in need.
Of course, he wasn't really taking a gamble, but I can only say that because I know me, and I know that I wouldn't screw someone over who just extended their trust to me. But Paul at the gas station didn't know that. He just knew that we needed help, and that he could provide that help. And he decided that it was more important to help us out when we really needed it, than to follow his fears.
I don't really have a clear point to make with this article, other than to show that there *are* good people out there- and helping a neighbor, or even a stranger, can sometimes pay off big time.
We all know how good it feels when you do a good deed for someone- it used to be said that one should do a good deed for someone at least once a day. That doesn't really get said anymore, and I think that many people let days, even weeks or months go by, without ever helping a stranger in need. It's a damn shame. I hope we haven't really become as self-absorbed and heartless as the media would have us believe.
And, when I drive down my dirt road and wave at the perfect strangers who are waving at me, I can believe that we haven't. Not yet at least.
Thanks for reading. See you next week- or sometime soon!
Be Well, Be Free,
Candidate for President - Year 2008