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Monday, July 18, 2016

Would Serving on A Butterfly Board Silence Me?

It's no secret that what I have craved for some time, career-wise, is a tenured position at a reputable university. I don't want it just for the prestige, and I don't want it just for the money. I want it, because I believe that such a position would make it possible for me to speak out and be heard. In fact, it's for the right to exercise free speech effectively that I want to be granted such an affiliation with an existing institution.

People who work in industry often have to sign contracts that say they will not discuss their work with outsiders, because the work they do is proprietary and belongs to the corporation that employs them. People who work for the military and for military contractors are also silenced through national security regulations. People who work for public schools have to adhere to community standards about what may be said, and they are answerable to school boards who in turn answer to the voters.  Even when I was in private law practice, I felt pinched and sometimes frightened to speak my mind, because my clients' fate lay in the hands of elected judges. The political machine controlled the judges and the judges controlled the lawyers who needed their cooperation in order to represent their clients. I found myself helping judges campaign for their reelection while my cases were pending in their courts. That felt wrong.

There is a problem right now for anyone who wants to speak freely. They either have to be so independent that they answer to no one, in which case people question  their expertise. Or they have to be known experts who dominate the field -- in which case, their hands are tied and their mouthes are gagged, unless they do as they are told by their masters. On the one hand, if you are completely independent, people say things like "you're not really a primatologist or a linguist or a lawyer or a writer."This is because people think only institutional affiliation counts. But on the other hand, if you have affiliation with an institution that has the kind of prestige or clout to allow you to be recognized, then you are prevented from working with chimpanzees or owning them, kept from publishing anything that goes against the grain of the political correctness that rules in such places, and generally kept from saying anything surprising and original that would turn the state of current knowledge on its head.

Bow displaying at a butterfly
Trying to change the system from the outside is about as effective as displaying at a butterfly. But trying to change it from within is even harder. ISP/ASP won't allow me to publish my work with them, because I own a chimpanzee. But if I did not own a chimpanzee, there would be no work to publish. How do we change this situation?

Concerned that I would lose Bow, I went and campaigned for Austin Petersen. But did you know that if I had created a non-profit for Project Bow, which might have conferred more legitimacy on us and even have allowed me to pretend that I did not own a chimpanzee because he was owned by a corporation and not an individual, then I would not have been allowed to speak out on political issues and certainly not to endorse a candidate?

As part of my involvement in the Liberty movement, I have been freelancing as a journalist. One piece covered Trump's press conference in which he chose Pence as  his VP.

LibertyBuzz article about Trump choosing Pence

Bow sat there and watched the press conference on C-Span with me, only distracting me a little from what Trump was saying. And what Trump appeared to be saying, in his very inarticulate way, was that he wanted evangelicals to be able to have more power over politics, which they currently are afraid to exercise, due to their tax exempt status.

I'm not a big fan of evangelicals, so none of that impressed me, except that later on the same day, I had some new comments on an old video I had made about Yaron Brook and space exploration. And then it clicked. It's not just evangelicals. Yaron Brook -- a secularist Objectivist --  would not be allowed to endorse a candidate, either, because the Ayn Rand Institute, of which he is now the head, is a non-profit. This has nothing to do with religion in politics. It's about anyone who receives tax free donations losing the right to exercise his civil liberties under the first amendment-- the right of free speech and press.

He can't endorse anyone because he works at a non-profit! This was news to me. What is the use of being Yaron Brook, if you can't endorse anyone? How can all that prestige be leveraged into actually changing the world we live in, if he can't endorse anyone?

If Ayn Rand had been the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, instead of just Ayn Rand, then she could not have endorsed Barry Goldwater! Let that sink in!

The flitty butterfly has been back in touch. I can have a seat on the board. Should I tell her that I am afraid I can't serve on  the butterfly board if it means I have to give up my free speech to do so?

Dangling before me is the possibility of getting the type of affiliation that I need for my speech to be heard.

But if I accept, then I may not be able to be heard at all, because I will have lost the right to speak.

Taxation is not just theft, anymore. It's a gag order. It's slavery. And I don't see any way out.

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