From Thu Oct 30 21:25:49 1997
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 14:19:05 GMT
From: Jaffo 
To: Jen 
Cc: rpc man 
Subject: Re: Freedom ring

I must also ask to be removed from this ring.  My opposition isn't quite
as forceful as Jen's or Carolyn's, because I consider the ring to be your
property.  It's your business who you allow on it, and you don't need to
justify yourself to anyone.

However, if you want to maintain a little community like this, you have to
explicitly define your rules BEFORE you accept someone.  Not after.

A lot of this boils down to simple courtesy, too.  You have to be very
delicate if you're going to retro-moderate your ring this way.  People get
their feelings hurt very easily in situations like this, and that just
makes it worse.

You have every right to say, "In order to be on this ring you must be
Pro-Choice and I do not accept sites that advocate militia activity."

If you clearly define your criteria and have a little Yes/No button on the
signup sheet, that criteria becomes a contract between you and the members
of the ring.  That way, you have grounds to kick somebody off the ring
when they say something you don't like.

OR, if a site comes up and does something you didn't think of, you should
write to ALL of your members and say that you are excluding this person,
and explain exactly why.

Being on the Freedom Ring implies that you embrace a certain viewpoint,
defined by YOU.  If that viewpoint changes, your members should know, so
they don't end up being associated with a viewpoint they don't support.

Your criteria was VERY broad at the outset, so I felt comfortable signing
up with you.  Now that you're restricting it on the basis of Abortion,
you're alienating a number of Pro-Life, but otherwise freedom-loving

I can think of other issues that I might use as a "litmus-test" if I was
to make my own ring, but Abortion wouldn't be one of them.

Steve Forbes and Harry Browne, two of my favorite Libertarians, are
actually Pro-Life.  Or, at the very least, Anti-Abortion like me.

I personally do not believe the government should initiate force against
women who want Abortions, but I find the practice morally abhorrent, and
would do anything in my power to encourage adoption and other

I oppose Roe V. Wade because it is unconstitutional, and violates the 10th

HOWEVER, I can easily see how people could oppose Abortion on Libertarian
grounds.  Government's primary function is to protect life, liberty, and
property.  And if a fetus can be defined as life, it has a right to live,
just like any other human being.  And that right should be protected by

I personally believe this, but I cannot justify using government force to
impose this viewpoint on the entire country.  I must be content to oppose
Abortion through persuasion, advertising, and personal example.

Nathaniel Branden wrote Harry Browne and said that it was irrational to
sacrifice Actual Life (Parents) to the needs of Potential Life (Fetuses).
I think this is bullshit.  Babies are created by deliberate, conscious
action, and if a doctor does not interfere in the process, 9 times out of
10, it WILL become a human being.  On that basis, I think Potential Life
has the same rights as Actual Life.  I believe that life begins at the
point it would BECOME a human being, barring intervention by a third

The issue of consent is also valid.  Since babies cannot be created by
accident, children become the responsibility of their parents at
conception. Children are not the property of their parents, any more than
any human being can belong to any other, so children have a right to life
that must be protected.

Children created WITHOUT mutual consent (rape and incest) must be judged
by a different criteria; but since I value potential life, I would take
steps to encourage adoption.

I also think drug and alcohol abuse are immoral, but I think those are
moral issues that should be opposed peacefully, not prohibited by law.

Would I be kicked off the Freedom Ring if I put an article expressing
those views on my web page?

You state explicitly in your ring materials that just because a site
exists on the ring does not imply that you agree with it.  That's what you
should have said to these people who criticized Carolyn's site.

OR, you can go the other way and strictly define criteria for your ring.
Once you do this, you will have grounds to kick people off.  Until then, I
must assume that the criteria is arbitrary and based on your personal
beliefs or the number of complaints you receive.

I don't want to second-guess myself every time I write something on my web
page, so until you drop your criteria or state it explicitly, I must
withdraw from the ring.

You didn't ask for my advice, but if I were you, I would sit down and
decide just what kind of people you want on your ring.  Then, PUT IT IN
WRITING and send it to all your members.


I am looking forward to an orderly election tomorrow, 
which will elimate the need for a violent bloodbath.