ConditionOne on May 21, 2009, 06:40:47 am
Sandy, I do appreicate the work and time contraint that goes in doing a comic strip, but NeitherRuleNorBeRule brings up several good points.  I think a golden opportunity was missed by not using the trial of Harris to illustrate more of the subtle evil mind set of the UAW and the benefits of Libertarianism. We may already have much background knowledge on these issues, but new readers will not. This trial could have been a major climax of the strip, where some of the issues discussed on this board might have been introduced.


corwinargentus on May 21, 2009, 09:09:53 am
My problem lies in the circumstances surrounding Young's trial.  I don't think he was given ample opportunity to process the new information that he had a say in his actions.  He was a well-programmed cog in a perverse machine, and had never been faced with the fact of his responsibility, he was taught to believe a given order from a superior a.) left him without option and b.) relieved him of responsibility.  He was given maybe 2 minutes after seeing his superior blown away a foot to his right (just TRY thinking clearly after that) to come to terms with and overcome a lifetime of programming and propoganda.  He hadn't had the chance to think about his new freedom, he was just blown away without enough education and chance to process the lessons presented.

As I pointed out earlier, "common sense" is a learned skill.  You are not born knowing the details of right and wrong.  There is a sense of it, but education, indoctrination and propoganda warp a person's sensibilities and beliefs.  It is like a cult.

Young probably didn't have a Mom & Dad who had a neat quote framed on the wall that helped teach him to think and act independently.  His family life and his education very likely molded him into a pawn of the state.  And to anyone who says that is not possible, I say, BS.

Like it or not, some kids believe what their parents and mentors teach them, and I bet Mr. Young had really BAD mentors.

When you liberate someone from a cult, you have to deprogram them.  That takes a little time. Young was deprogrammed with a .45 slug.

Young may have proved to be only worthy of death.  If so, great.  Shoot him then.  We never really got the chance to find out.  If you want to have people believe your views, you have to take a little time to teach them your views and help them through the reactions they will have to the new information.  I realize that is what this comic and this forum is all about, but you have to be careful that the story you tell is consistent with they way you would do it in real life.  If the action in the strip is representative of the ideal functioning of libertarian principles of justice, I would not want to live in a libertarian society.  A little too precipitous and not enough value placed on life, even the life of a nominal criminal.  And no, I haven't forgotten he pulled the trigger.

Hi.  We just killed a guy right next to you.  Tell us why we should let you live.  You're free and able to decide for yourself.  You are responsible for your actions.  You have 30 seconds to process all this new information.  Sorry, wrong answer.  Bang.

Guess he won't have to worry now that he peed his pants.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 11:20:16 am by corwinargentus »
CorwinArgentus
Goodbye, and Hello as always

SandySandfort on May 21, 2009, 11:12:44 am
Technical question: what happens in very low-g when you fire a .45 acp weapon? On Terra, one leans in slightly; the force is absorbed by the mass. Eventually, it is absorbed by friction between one's soles and the floor, I suppose. Mass, of course, remains the same on Ceres., but the force of gravity is less, and the friction is less.

My guess is that gravity/friction have little to do with it. Mass is the primary consideration. Since the shooter's mass remains the same, I don't think the results would be much different on Ceres than on Terra.

SandySandfort on May 21, 2009, 12:07:44 pm
Sandy, I do appreicate the work and time contraint that goes in doing a comic strip, but NeitherRuleNorBeRule brings up several good points.  I think a golden opportunity was missed by not using the trial of Harris to illustrate more of the subtle evil mind set of the UAW and the benefits of Libertarianism. We may already have much background knowledge on these issues, but new readers will not. This trial could have been a major climax of the strip, where some of the issues discussed on this board might have been introduced.

First and foremost, this was not a trial. Most of the complaints I have received (especially from Perry Metzger on ACT) have started out with the assumption that the disposition of Harris and Young was a trial. From this erroneous beginning, readers jump to the "lack of due process" in the "trial." These men were simply answering for the consequences of their acts. The opportunity to speak in their own defense was a courtesy. If I had wanted to write about a trial (actually arbitration) I would have done so. I may still do so. This was not a story element about how a justice system works in an anarchist society. It was about the underlying basis of libertarian thought, which is self-ownership and personal responsibility. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. It starts out with the premises that these men did horrible things and that no external excuse (rules of war, following orders) relieves them of their responsibility.

Now let's look at some issues raised by NeitherRuleNorBeRule yesterday. (I usually take these things linearly, so if NRNBR has made further comments, I will address them as I get to them.):

    * There was no apparent investigation to determine who all bore guilt.  The other senior officers could have figured that Harris cooked his own goose, and that the junior weapons officer was a convenient scapegoat.  They might even have counseled him to use the "following orders" defense.

No, there was no investigation. However, when he had the opportunity to speak, Young clearly indicated that he had done the killing. In a movie or comic strip, some leaps of faith have to be taken. You have to assume that Reggie, Guy et alia, would not have been a party to the execution if they had not been satisfied with the information they had.

    * Killing Harris before "trying" the gunner conveniently eliminated one witness for the defense. Should have waited for the end.

As this was an execution and not a trial, so there was no witness testimony. But let me expand a bit here. Under most circumstances, we believe that a trial is a good thing before we go popping men tied to chairs. But "most circumstances" is not "all circumstances." If you cannot think of a scenario in under a minute, in which you would shoot a man tied to a chair instead of putting him through the justice system, you aren't trying. (If you really cannot think of such a situation, let me know and I will create one for you.) What this means, though, is that if you can think of any exception to the usual rule of law, then any critique that you offer can not begin with the assumption that trial-less executions are wrong, ab initio.

    * The gunner didn't have time to articulate a good defense...

Asked and answered.

    * No one apparently advised Emily that summary execution meant that she is now liable for any debts that would have otherwise been retired from the estate that might have been compensated by the now dead officers.

Huh? I have no idea what you are saying. Emily would be liable for debts? Where does that come from?

The sorts of niceties that go along with a reasonable trial... may not be very interesting in a comic; but their absence makes the results suspect.

I'm not sure why you think that would be the case. The Belt is an anarchist society, guilt was unambiguous, justice was done. As I said, perhaps I will write a story wherein Cererean customer justice is an element, but this wasn't that story. At least it provoked controversy and got readers thinking. No one is required to agree with me, so my story may make it all the more imperative in your mind that formal justice systems need to exist. You might be right.  ;)

Harris' case is pretty cut and dried.  "Yeah, I did, I wanted to do it, I'd do it again, what're you going to do about it."  The weapons officer's case is much more nuanced, and  is subject to greater criticism.

... and thoughtful discussion. I think that is a good thing.

SandySandfort on May 21, 2009, 12:34:18 pm
My problem lies in the circumstances surrounding Young's trial...

A courtesy is something you give of your own accord. It is not a right or claim. Young was there to be executed. He was given a chance to speak. Maybe it was insufficient time by your standards, but it could have been zero too.

I think every American who tortures and kills innocent people should pay for his crimes, not be given a pass by Obama. The same arguments you have made on Young's behalf apply just as much to the monsters. Why? Well first, because they are guilt, whether or not they were properly potty trained as a child. Second, it is absolutely necessary to change the behavior of others in the future. If you were a marine and saw fellow marines walk away free after murdering every man, woman and child in an Iraqi home and then trying to cover it up (they knew they were guilty), what would be the moral of the story to you? No, it's too bad Young bought into the propaganda he was fed by family and state, but he still most horribly murdered five people.

If the action in the strip is representative of the ideal functioning of libertarian principles of justice, I would not want to live in a libertarian society.

The action in the strip definitely represents justice. It strains credulity to think Harris and Young were not cold-blooded murders worthy of death. However, do not confuse "justice" with a "justice system." If a libertarian justice system were designed to handle all cases with summary execution, I wouldn't want to live there either. But I do recognize that self-help and personal justice are not necessarily a bad thing and that they have always existed, in every society that has ever existed. There is probably a good reason.

Rocketman on May 21, 2009, 01:15:37 pm
Sandy:  If it means anything that's exactly how I saw it too.  A few years ago I saw a news clip where two deputies were leading out of a courtroom a man who had been a camp counselor and had molested several young boys in his care.  The father of one of those boys had a pistol on him and when they passed by popped the pervert in the back of the head twice before the deputies could stop him.  It may have not been the law, but it was justice.  I only hope that whoever is in the jury at his trial feels the same way I do about it.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 01:17:21 pm by Rocketman »

SandySandfort on May 21, 2009, 01:35:41 pm
Sandy:  If it means anything that's exactly how I saw it too.  A few years ago I saw a news clip where two deputies were leading out of a courtroom a man who had been a camp counselor and had molested several young boys in his care.  The father of one of those boys had a pistol on him and when they passed by popped the pervert in the back of the head twice before the deputies could stop him.  It may have not been the law, but it was justice.  I only hope that whoever is in the jury at his trial feels the same way I do about it.

If juries exercised the power of jury nullification, most of the self-help types would walk. Even as it is, they usually go for a lesser included offense and the judge usually goes light on them

corwinargentus on May 21, 2009, 07:38:11 pm
I just read through all the posts on both topics that contain comment on Sv Emily Rose's decisions and actions regarding Harris and Young.

Thank you Sandy for wading through my incessant, repetitive questioning, and for each and every one of your answers.  You must have been thinking, "Won't this guy EVER shut up?"

You were and are exceedingly patient and gracious.  I had a rough time of it, but I agree with you that based on what Emily had to go on, she did the right thing in both cases. 

I also appreciate your candor in answering my questions regarding if you were in the situation.  I especially appreciated your responses regarding if Young had answered differently, with true remorse and grief. 

I look forward to tomorrow's strip and future conversations. 
CorwinArgentus
Goodbye, and Hello as always

SandySandfort on May 21, 2009, 08:01:43 pm
Thank you Sandy for wading through my incessant, repetitive questioning, and for each and every one of your answers.  You must have been thinking, "Won't this guy EVER shut up?"

Uh... I appreciate thoughtful and... enthusiastic posters.

You were and are exceedingly patient and gracious.  I had a rough time of it, but I agree with you that based on what Emily had to go on, she did the right thing in both cases. 

And please understand, it was not easy for her. The thing is, she felt she had a duty to her family. She shouldered it like an adult and did what she believed was right. She will be all right.

I also appreciate your candor in answering my questions regarding if you were in the situation.  I especially appreciated your responses regarding if Young had answered differently, with true remorse and grief. 

Normally, I would decline getting too personal about myself. Because our strip generated so much controversy, though, I felt a deeper examination of my feelings and thought process could be of value in understanding what was really going on with Harris, Young and Emily.

I look forward to tomorrow's strip and future conversations. 

Same here.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on May 21, 2009, 08:55:22 pm
First and foremost, this was not a trial. Most of the complaints I have received (especially from Perry Metzger on ACT) have started out with the assumption that the disposition of Harris and Young was a trial. From this erroneous beginning, readers jump to the "lack of due process" in the "trial." These men were simply answering for the consequences of their acts. The opportunity to speak in their own defense was a courtesy. If I had wanted to write about a trial (actually arbitration) I would have done so. I may still do so. This was not a story element about how a justice system works in an anarchist society. It was about the underlying basis of libertarian thought, which is self-ownership and personal responsibility. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. It starts out with the premises that these men did horrible things and that no external excuse (rules of war, following orders) relieves them of their responsibility.

I admit I thought it was a "trial" or "arbitration".  One thing that led me to this was the fact that this was being recorded/broadcast across the human world(s) -- it seems odd and idiotic to simply broadcast the tail end with the execution to everyone.  It may send a message to those pulling the strings in the UW, but it will leave a bad taste in the mouths of everyone else who has no background into why this is occurring.  It seems a lot like the Daniel Pearl video without some context.

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Now let's look at some issues raised by NeitherRuleNorBeRule yesterday. (I usually take these things linearly, so if NRNBR has made further comments, I will address them as I get to them.):

    * There was no apparent investigation to determine who all bore guilt.  The other senior officers could have figured that Harris cooked his own goose, and that the junior weapons officer was a convenient scapegoat.  They might even have counseled him to use the "following orders" defense.

No, there was no investigation. However, when he had the opportunity to speak, Young clearly indicated that he had done the killing. In a movie or comic strip, some leaps of faith have to be taken. You have to assume that Reggie, Guy et alia, would not have been a party to the execution if they had not been satisfied with the information they had.

While Reggie, Guy, et alia, might have been satisfied, it is important for the storyteller to convince the audience that they, too, should be satisfied.  Otherwise, many of them may decide that the the protagonists aren't particularly ethical people.  Remember that eventually the audience will shell out "good(?!) paleocontinentals" :) to buy a dead tree to read this, and not have the benefit of this forum.

As it is, based on what I've seen, I'm not sure that Young is truly guilty of cold blooded murder.

Young didn't claim with any certainty that they were targeting civilians.  He said "That looks like a civilian target. Are you sure --" (emphasis mine).  The response was a quick "That's an order!" (emphasis in original).  HIs C.O. indicated that Young should go ahead -- one possible reason was (to Young) that the C.O. had (presumably) good reason to think this was not just a civilian target -- perhaps it was a camouflaged military storehouse containing S.H.'s old missing "Weapons of Mass Destruction", or the modern equivalent.  Senior officers don't always tell junior officers everything, and given that no one else on the bridge seemed to doubt this experienced seasoned "war hero", Young had some reason to believe it was OK.  The "don't worry" bit (although the frame artwork looks like Harris is about to hit Young, not reassure him") could be interpreted to mean "I know what I'm doing and it's (ethically) OK (for reasons you don't understand at the moment)".

That isn't really much of a stretch, especially when Young has only a few seconds to figure this all out.  He does a bit of follow-up (that mysterious "Sir, there's a minor fluctuation in the beam.  The area's expanding." ("something's amiss; I don't understand...") but the order is reinforced -- and no one else responds.

That's not lazy, that's quite likely a confused kid caught between a rock and a hard place and too much information to process in too little time in battle conditions (perhaps that "residence" was about to counter-attack -- Harris might be expecting that, he's so adamant!).

Admittedly, Reggie, Guy, Emily, and the rest don't know this; only the audence has that perspective.  Did they try to find out what was going on?  Or was pure bloodlust and revenge driving them?

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As this was an execution and not a trial, so there was no witness testimony. But let me expand a bit here. Under most circumstances, we believe that a trial is a good thing before we go popping men tied to chairs. But "most circumstances" is not "all circumstances." If you cannot think of a scenario in under a minute, in which you would shoot a man tied to a chair instead of putting him through the justice system, you aren't trying. (If you really cannot think of such a situation, let me know and I will create one for you.) What this means, though, is that if you can think of any exception to the usual rule of law, then any critique that you offer can not begin with the assumption that trial-less executions are wrong, ab initio.

I, for one, cannot think of any case where (a) the probable criminal is rendered helpless, and (b) there is time to consider the issues, that simply "popping" him rather than follow a trustworthy process to determine nature and degree of guilt is ethical.  Please do provide one.

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    * No one apparently advised Emily that summary execution meant that she is now liable for any debts that would have otherwise been retired from the estate that might have been compensated by the now dead officers.

Huh? I have no idea what you are saying. Emily would be liable for debts? Where does that come from?

This was something of a side issue; the result of limited time.  Consider that Emily's parents may have had outstanding debts; debts that were secured by their home.  That home is no longer there, the debtors are dead, and the debt is still outstanding.  Who pays?  Well, the perpetrators are liable for the reduction of the estate value, so the estate plus the resources of the perpetrators together is the answer.  Emily is clearly not.  However, Emily reduced the perpetrators' resources (that being their lives and knowledge); hence she is now at least partially  liable. 

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I'm not sure why you think that would be the case. The Belt is an anarchist society, guilt was unambiguous, justice was done. As I said, perhaps I will write a story wherein Cererean customer justice is an element, but this wasn't that story. At least it provoked controversy and got readers thinking. No one is required to agree with me, so my story may make it all the more imperative in your mind that formal justice systems need to exist. You might be right.  ;)

We agree they are an anarchist society.  We disagree on the ambiguity of guilt in Young's case.  In my view -- and I suspect many future readers' views -- injustice may have been done.

An anarchist society does not mean there are no rules (I recall reading that somewhere), and a form of common law will likely develop (common law originally developed without any government oversight -- it was how disputes in ports were handled among folks who recognized no common government, after all; BTW, precedent/"case law"  in such a situation isn't binding -- that's government folly.  Rather it is advisory, inasmuch as it is interpreted as "well, when Joe had a problem like this, he did X, and it seemed to work out pretty well).    It can be quite informal, and not be based reams of paper, years of study, and lists of bureaucratic red tape and loopholes as "law" is today.

It also need not be vigilantes,posse's and "string 'im up boys", a la the "wild west" mythos.

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... and thoughtful discussion. I think that is a good thing.

On this we can certainly agree; and I'm pleased that you consider this thoughtful.

One last, mostly irrelevant comment.  "Perry Metzger"?  "Perry E. Metzger"?   That's a name I haven't heard for almost 20 years!  I didn't know he was still stirring things up.  Quite a character, he.

SandySandfort on May 21, 2009, 10:00:04 pm
I admit I thought it was a "trial" or "arbitration".  One thing that led me to this was the fact that this was being recorded/broadcast across the human world(s) -- it seems odd and idiotic to simply broadcast the tail end with the execution to everyone. 

The tail end of what? As it wasn't a trial, the execution was not the tail-end of anything. It was the whole enchalada. One thing I have learned by working with Scott and Lee is that there is never enough time, never enough space to show everything you would like to show. Scott can tell you, I'm sure, how much exposition there is in my short stories. He does his best to express the gist of those expositions in words and action. He does a damned good job, in my opinion. We do our best to at least hit the high points. That's all I can promise you.

Having said that, I am now going to stick my foot back in my mouth. I doubt you would be happy with the prose version either. We can come up with scenarios all day long as to why Young may have thought he was shooting a military target or whatever. As a writer, I have no interest in tracking down each possible exculpatory theory. Maybe I didn't do enough. Maybe some people will be put off. Second guessing is easy. I am listening and will try to incorporate insightful comments into my future efforts. So just for the record, so we can move on, Young believed he was killing civilians, but didn't stop because he felt Harris' words absolved him from guilt. I'll try to be clearer about such issues in the future.

While Reggie, Guy, et alia, might have been satisfied, it is important for the storyteller to convince the audience that they, too, should be satisfied.  Otherwise, many of them may decide that the the protagonists aren't particularly ethical people.  Remember that eventually the audience will shell out "good(?!) paleocontinentals" :) to buy a dead tree to read this, and not have the benefit of this forum.

Sorry to be cynical, but it's a numbers game. I'm betting that most readers will not be nearly as bothered as you. Some may prefer "Old West" justice. Point is, trying to pander to every taste is impossible. Or to quote Ricky Nelson's "Garden Party"

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself


I, for one, cannot think of any case where (a) the probable criminal is rendered helpless, and (b) there is time to consider the issues, that simply "popping" him rather than follow a trustworthy process to determine nature and degree of guilt is ethical.  Please do provide one.

No can do. Once again, you are casting this in terms of it being a trial. This is an execution. Executions have no "issues" to consider.

This was something of a side issue; the result of limited time.  Consider that Emily's parents may have had outstanding debts; debts that were secured by their home.  That home is no longer there, the debtors are dead, and the debt is still outstanding.  Who pays?  Well, the perpetrators are liable for the reduction of the estate value, so the estate plus the resources of the perpetrators together is the answer.  Emily is clearly not.  However, Emily reduced the perpetrators' resources (that being their lives and knowledge); hence she is now at least partially  liable. 

Your scenario has nothing to do with how real debtor/creditor relations work in any legal system I know about. Emily's parents may have had debts, but unless she was a signatory to the loan, she has no obligation to pay. Debtors can sue the estate, but there is no estate, other than bank accounts and such. Harris and Young are not estate assets. I don't know where this idea has crept into the discussion. Suggestions about enslaving them or selling off their body parts are ludicrous.

We agree they are an anarchist society.  We disagree on the ambiguity of guilt in Young's case.  In my view -- and I suspect many future readers' views -- injustice may have been done.

Reasonable minds may differ. Some people will agree with your point of view and some will agree with my point of view. That's what makes horse races, differences of opinion.

An anarchist society does not mean there are no rules (I recall reading that somewhere), and a form of common law will likely develop...

As it has in the Belt. Most disputes are handle using customary resolution techniques, just like they are here and now. In this extraordinary case of first instance ("We don't get many murders by death ray around these here parts"), it was handled outside of the customary system, also just like it often happens here and now.

One last, mostly irrelevant comment.  "Perry Metzger"?  "Perry E. Metzger"?   That's a name I haven't heard for almost 20 years!  I didn't know he was still stirring things up.  Quite a character, he.

I don't know how many Perry Metzgers there are, but he is the libertarian/anarchist one in NYC. He runs ACT, the Anarcho-Cap group. His heart is usually in the right place, but he is an arrogant ass when he gets a bug up his butt about something. Then he uses innuendo, name calling and whatever other forms of fallacious or irrelevant arguments he can to argue his point, all in the name of logic and reason. Let's just say he and I are not on each other's Xmas card list. :(

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on May 21, 2009, 11:26:21 pm
I admit I thought it was a "trial" or "arbitration".  One thing that led me to this was the fact that this was being recorded/broadcast across the human world(s) -- it seems odd and idiotic to simply broadcast the tail end with the execution to everyone. 

The tail end of what? As it wasn't a trial, the execution was not the tail-end of anything. It was the whole enchalada. One thing I have learned by working with Scott and Lee is that there is never enough time, never enough space to show everything you would like to show. Scott can tell you, I'm sure, how much exposition there is in my short stories. He does his best to express the gist of those expositions in words and action. He does a damned good job, in my opinion. We do our best to at least hit the high points. That's all I can promise you.

More than one of us can miss important detail by trying to hit the high points :)

Clearly something happened between the time Kruger agreed to surrender terms and everyone is in the room with Harris and Young, besides the party.  There was a turnover of the criminals, some bits of dialogue ("these are the two responsible.  Harris you know, and  Young here did the firing."  "Thati's it?"  "Yup."  "OK, we'll take it from here", etc.), transporting them to the execution chamber, talking to DeLeon's widow and Emily, and perhaps a few more bits.  The tail end of which was when they turned on the camera, it seems.

Imagine Joe Six-pack, sits down after a hard day's work on Mars, and sees the UW version, which portrays it like Pearl's beheading.  He's suspicious, so he finds the original, and watches the whole thing.  He sees Harris is an asshole, and Young, the piss scared out of him, say he was following orders, BANG BANG (I admit the bangs are out of sequence).  How likely is he to be pissed at the UW?

The Belters should have realized how it would look, and "staged" it differently.

Not being aware of the activities of society around them (usually rendered as "politics") is the fundamental definition of "idiotic"; as an aficionado of etymology, I chose the word with relish.

By the way, my job (Software Engineer) entails considering all these sorts of possibilities, and realizing that Murphy's Law is always at play.  My mind instinctively seeks out anomalies, cases not considered, and possible problems.  Further, I also automatically look for the simplest, most straightforward, short and elegant way to make all those go away.  I hate saying openly (it seems so self-serving) but I'm very good at it, too.  One weakness I have is I turn off my emotions when I do so, which makes me come across like an arrogant asshole if I'm not very careful, and I'm obviously not being careful enough.  I know that you are very protective of your work (as I am with mind -- I hate criticism on one hand, but value goodcriticism greatly on the other).  Please understand I do mean to be helpful, even though I know I come across like I'm shredding your baby.

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Having said that, I am now going to stick my foot back in my mouth. I doubt you would be happy with the prose version either. We can come up with scenarios all day long as to why Young may have thought he was shooting a military target or whatever. As a writer, I have no interest in tracking down each possible exculpatory theory. Maybe I didn't do enough. Maybe some people will be put off. Second guessing is easy. I am listening and will try to incorporate insightful comments into my future efforts. So just for the record, so we can move on, Young believed he was killing civilians, but didn't stop because he felt Harris' words absolved him from guilt. I'll try to be clearer about such issues in the future.

I think it could have been solved without a lot of extra steps.  One where Kruger tells Reggie, et. .al., what they did, on camera.  One more followup by Young to show he really wasn't as confused and innocent as he might have been.  Don't have Harris look like he's going to (rather literally) throw the book at Young when he says, "that's an order" (maybe the prior have Young say it is rather than looks like a civilian target).  Even a mention that Emily's folks had a good life insurance policy.

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Sorry to be cynical, but it's a numbers game. I'm betting that most readers will not be nearly as bothered as you. Some may prefer "Old West" justice. Point is, trying to pander to every taste is impossible.

I would hope you would give enough rationale to persuade statists that anarchy is reasonable and workable, without everyone being an asshole.  I would like to be comfortable recommending it to others, or giving out a copy or two.

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I, for one, cannot think of any case where (a) the probable criminal is rendered helpless, and (b) there is time to consider the issues, that simply "popping" him rather than follow a trustworthy process to determine nature and degree of guilt is ethical.  Please do provide one.

No can do. Once again, you are casting this in terms of it being a trial. This is an execution. Executions have no "issues" to consider.

Please double check the comment you originally made.  You referred to popping them rather than turning the over to a legal system  originally.  I don't think I strayed from that.

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Your scenario has nothing to do with how real debtor/creditor relations work in any legal system I know about. Emily's parents may have had debts, but unless she was a signatory to the loan, she has no obligation to pay. Debtors can sue the estate, but there is no estate, other than bank accounts and such. Harris and Young are not estate assets. I don't know where this idea has crept into the discussion. Suggestions about enslaving them or selling off their body parts are ludicrous.

I don't know any system that currently works this way; I argue that it ought to work this way.  If A owes B, and A dies, B can satisfy the debt (along with other creditors) from A's estate.  If C both kills A (leaving the estate to satisfy B) aind destroys part of the estate which would satisfy B, should B just take the loss?

 No.  B would then go after C up to the lesser of the  debt that cannot be satisfied by remaining estate, and the lost value due to C's destructive acton.

If D then unilaterally destroys all value C could provide, D then become liable for the debt.  Otherwise, D is forcing B to eat the debt.

That shouldn't be particularly controversial.

The part that is controversial is how to get C to pay.  "Bankruptcy" would go against the idea of personal responsibility, especially in the case where the debt was created by tort.  The solution is to force C (who incurred the debt) to work off as much of the debt as possible.

I contend that at its extreme, if someone has acted so heinously that execution is permitted, anything less than death that contributes to compensate the victims is permitted.  The life of the criminal is forfeit, it may be ended or used in any other way the victims see fit to compensate them.  I would agree that torturing them for torture's sake is not acceptable, but if extracting the compensation (and the criminal cannot suggest an alternative way he or she can provide the same compensation -- and costs subtract from the compensation) entail pain, injury, or death, so be it.  Their life, their liberty/sovereignty, their property is not theirs. 

As for sale of body parts, there has been quite a bit written defending it -- I recall there was an article in Reason within the past year defending it.  The claim of "ludicrous" is unfounded.

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I don't know how many Perry Metzgers there are, but he is the libertarian/anarchist ...innuendo, name calling ... to argue his point, ...in the name of logic and reason.

Yep, that's him. :P  Sounds like he hasn't changed much (except he wasn't an anarchist yet when I knew him).

SandySandfort on May 22, 2009, 12:53:17 am
While NeitherRuleNorBeRuled makes many good points, I feel we have reached the hair-splitting stage. I'll just say that, yes, something happened between Kruger's surrender and the execution scene. It was not addressed in detail because it would slow the pace and not address the issue of personal responsibility head-on. Maybe yes, maybe no, but that's the way it was done. "The moving finger having writ... yada, yada." When I don't like something in a movie, book or whatever, I mentally re-write it my way. Feel free to do the same.

wdg3rd on May 23, 2009, 06:47:53 am

  • The gunner didn't have time to articulate a good defense.  He might have noted that he had been drilled for years (even before his service) to follow orders and trust his superiors/government, that he hadn't seen an obvious cases of this being abused before, and that his error was not resolving this conflict correctly in the 15-30 seconds he had.
  • No one apparently advised Emily that summary execution meant that she is now liable for any debts that would have otherwise been retired from the estate that might have been compensated by the now dead officers.  Yes this includes slavery, medical experiments, raffling off the chance to kill or torture them, and/or medical experimentation, if it was deemed their lives and sovereignty were forfeit.

The kid pulled the trigger.  We've known since a long time before Nuremburg that "following orders" is not an adequate excuse unless G-D himself gives the order (and I'd have to question that even if He spoke to me personally, but since I'm not a televangelist He doesn't speak to me personally).  (Actually, there are are a whole lot of folk who should be in front of War Crime trials, and that includes at the least Obama's three predecessors and a lot of officers and soldiers who were "just following orders").
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

wdg3rd on May 23, 2009, 08:17:49 am
Sandy, I do appreicate the work and time contraint that goes in doing a comic strip, but NeitherRuleNorBeRule brings up several good points.  I think a golden opportunity was missed by not using the trial of Harris to illustrate more of the subtle evil mind set of the UAW and the benefits of Libertarianism. We may already have much background knowledge on these issues, but new readers will not. This trial could have been a major climax of the strip, where some of the issues discussed on this board might have been introduced.

Neil can preach (though it costs time from writing for money).  Scott can preach (though it costs time from drawing for money).  Sandy doesn't have as much street cred yet so he can't preach (yet, but he's close), and he doesn't strike me as likely want to, he's got work to do writing stuff, this libertarian stuff (which I have no problem with even though I'm an anarchist) cuts into his schedule (of doing stuff that makes money).  (Anybody around here got a problem with doing stuff that makes money and doesn't initiate force?)

If I seem a bit sarcastic here, it's because I'm not a rich noble with the petty cash to support the artists I like.  If I was a Borgia pope, these guys would be set for as long as I didn't get poisoned.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

 

anything