MT VOID 11/26/10 -- Vol. 29, No. 22, Whole Number 1625

MT VOID 11/26/10 -- Vol. 29, No. 22, Whole Number 1625

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
11/26/10 -- Vol. 29, No. 22, Whole Number 1625

Table of Contents

      C3PO: Mark Leeper, R2D2: Evelyn Leeper, Back issues at All material is copyrighted by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe, send mail to To unsubscribe, send mail to

Various Magazines Look at Science Fiction:

LIFE Magazine on science fiction (05/21/51):


Genetic Politics (and How I Abstained) (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

Since the human genome has been mapped researchers have been in the process of uncovering the function of the many and various gene sequences of the genome. And it is quite possible that there are some surprises that are out there waiting for us. A new one was recently discovered.

It used to be a slogan of feminism--actually going back to Freud-- that "anatomy is destiny." Recent discoveries seem to confirm that statement at a deeper level than before. It might actually be true that even some ideologies have a genetic basis.

Clearly to some extent anatomy has to be destiny. From the moment I was born it was clear that I would never give birth to a baby. I could have fathered one, but not mothered one. It was also in the cards that a human woman would never give birth to a lion cub. She would not have the anatomy for that.

That is anatomy-controlling destiny in a very unsubtle and actually trivial way. But it struck me a while back that anatomy, or perhaps genetic makeup, which is one aspect of anatomy, even affects what ideas come to my mind. Some of my attitudes may be hardwired into my mind. I don't mean it on the level that I don't want to be a basketball player because I am not tall and thin. I am saying that just some ideas may occur to me because my DNA programs me to have those ideas.

I guess I first thought about this phenomenon when I was in Alaska and saw some husky puppies. (Long time readers of the VOID may remember me talking about this before.) Husky puppies I am told get funny ideas into their heads all on their own. They decide it is a fun game to pull heavy objects around. These ideas may be very convenient for them to have since that may be what humans want them to do, but the idea seems to come to them first that pulling is fun. Huskies get that idea, but retriever puppies, regardless how they are raised, don't get the same idea. They do get the idea that it is fun to play a sort of game. The game is that their master throws an object and they run out and pick it up and bring it back. In other words retrievers like to retrieve just like huskies like to pull. Then there are terriers. They like to dig. Well, that was just exactly what humans wanted them to do. They bred them to do it, but the dogs seem to get the idea without being told. These ideas seem to be encoded in the makeup of the dogs and most likely in the DNA. And there is new evidence that this sort of influence goes deeper than we thought. DNA may affect our own political attitudes. Your genes may be telling you how to vote.

Researchers at University of California and at Harvard have found that among people who had many friends as teenagers the presence of the gene DRD4 is correlated to political liberalism. If you do not have DRD4 in your genetic makeup there is no such correlation. The gene seems to be turning people into political liberals, or its lack may be making them conservatives. "DRD4 codes for the production of molecular structures in the brain that facilitate transmission of the chemical dopamine among brain cells. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or a brain signaling chemical."


Now what makes this particularly interesting to me is that we seem to have caught nature in the act of trying to decide what political policy is best for survival of genes. How does this work?

The main goal of a gene is to create another identical gene. The genes that propagate must stay in the gene pool. Much of human behavior can explained in choosing the proper policy for extending our genes. Men who like to chase women are unconsciously increasing the probability that their genes will reproduce and be passed on. Women who resist these men are making sure that their genes will mix with a better set of genes having more survival potential. This is the theory that Richard Dawkins presented in THE SELFISH GENE and it explains a lot.

Now comes a question. (Please excuse the oversimplification of two ideologies.) Which gene has better survival potential?

-- A gene from someone who looks out for the weaker in society so that much of the gene pool is propagated including those organisms that already have copies of itself, i.e. a liberal gene

-- A gene from someone who looks out mostly for her/himself, i.e. a conservative gene?

Nature does not have an answer to that ... yet. Even if this principle is true apparently it still is an open issue. Some gene combinations cause a liberal tendency, some a more conservative tendency. If conservatism really is the better policy then those with a more conservative philosophy will pass more of those genes on to the later generations, which will then also be more conservative. If liberalism is the better policy those genes will survive and our descendents will be more liberal. Or perhaps the mix that we currently have will remain with us.

I think I know which way I would vote, but having no children I have de facto abstained. I guess it is sort of a one-child, one- vote sort of poll. I am disenfranchised. But it is possible that politics is being fought even out on a genetic level. [-mrl]

SF TV to Consider (television reviews by Dale L. Skran, Jr.):

SF on TV has entered a sort of golden age. For the first time, virtually any sort of story can be produced for a reasonable sum, and a variety of cable channels produce their own shows aimed at what are by traditional standards, very small audiences. The result is that SF gets produced that would never have seen the light of photons even ten years ago. CW and the SyFy Channel seem to be the leaders, but Fox is right in there. In addition, a number of TV shows make use of SF tropes although technically they are not SF.

I use SF to mean "Speculative Fiction" and so include both traditional hard science fiction as well as intelligently plotted fantasy in my review. I am skipping over a substantial amount of cheesy monster of the week programming and sword & sorcery claptrap that clogs the airwaves, although at its best it can be diverting. I mean, who doesn't find themselves drawn to "Sharktopus" and its ilk!! I'll stick to the shows I manage to find the time to keep up with, but this is not exhaustive. In particular, I don't get HBO, but I have given to understand from reliable sources that TRUE BLOOD is quite good.

I will also us this opportunity to rail against DR. WHO, which seems to have the bulk of con-going fandom in some sort of hypnotic trance. I have never found a "Dr." that I liked, and I am continually astounded that it keeps winning the Hugo over and over again, pounding really path breaking shows like DOLL HOUSE into the dust. Of course, these are the same SF fans who, at one recent Worldcon panel I attended, nominated DEEP SPACE 9 as the best Trek ever. If you are one of those who worship at the house of Who and DS9 you should stop reading right here--we are from different planets, nay, different dimensions, not just of sight and sound, but of philosophy and morals. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday night brings us STAR GATE: UNIVERSE, the 3rd Star Gate series from the SyFy network. Nothing beats the original in my view, but I loved SG: ATLANTIS, and together found the first two Star Gate series the true heirs of the Star Trek mantle. UNIVERSE is not up to the level of either of the earlier series, as it spins a far darker tale of a rag-rag group of survivors trapped in an ancient starship on an unknown mission far from known space. I'm not going to waste too much time pumping this series, which is really somewhat marginal, but it does keep me watching it. Be warned that the earlier SGs were much more kid friendly, while UNIVERSE is a darker, more sexual tale with a lot more interpersonal angst and violence.

SG: UNIVERSE is followed on Tuesday by another SyFy original series, CAPRICA. I just started watching CAPRICA recently, and was surprised to find it quite interesting. It seems well on the way to answering the question of the Cylons' motivations in a plausible fashion, and overall I find it much superior to the remade BATTLESTAR: GALACTICA. I won't give away the big secret, but CAPRICA is surprisingly relevant to our real future, while having a crackling good plot, enough action to keep things moving, and some strong acting. Although a darker tale for adults or older teens, I think you might want to check this out. Hint--CAPRICA is the first filmed Singularity story.

Tuesday also brings NO ORDINARY FAMILY from ABC, which might be best described as a live-action version of THE INCREDIBLES with a completely different plot. An ordinary family via a mysterious accident suddenly gains remarkable superpowers. The father is invulnerable and super-strong, the mother can run like the Flash, the sister becomes a telepath, and the son is gifted with hyper- intelligence. As you might expect, there is a bit more going on in the background than the family realizes. This is a family TV show that focuses mainly on the relationships between the family members, and seems to get in some good laughs. The problems encountered by the son are well handled. I do not think NO ORDINARY FAMILY is going to draw a hard-core SF audience, but it would be a good show to watch with your kids.

Wednesday sports HUMAN TARGET from Fox, a marginally SF story based on a comic book that follows the adventures of Christopher Chance, the world's best body guard. HUMAN TARGET steals a bit from the old pulp hero the Phantom, who claimed to be immortal but really was a long series of different people wearing the same costume. The big secret is that Chance is not really Chance, but a reformed assassin who has taken on the name Chance from its pervious owner. This is a decently produced pulp style escapist adventure series that the kids may like [or not]. It appears to have been renewed for a new season, which I found a bit surprising, but it is at least somewhat entertaining, and who knows, it may get better.

Thursday is the big night for SF TV. Things start with the CW's THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, a tale of a normal girl, Elena Gilbert, torn between two vampires, the noble Stefan and the apparently demonic Damon. Based on a series of books of the same name [of which I have read some] this is a series that exceeds the source material. Although the actors and actresses are stunningly beautiful and handsome, they take the material seriously and you fall easily into their world. The conflict between the two brothers is deep and complex, and as you learn more about each brother you start to see that everything is not quite what it seems, and the choice between them is not an easy one for Elena.

The cast is strong, and the plot entertainingly complex. There are more twists and turns than on a roller coaster. On some level, I think I like this because it works best as a kind of superhero team story, where our heroes (Stepfan and Damon, the vampire brothers, Alaric, a vampire hunter, Bonnie, a witch, and Caroline, another vampire) are arrayed against a series of hostile forces, each more powerful than the last, reminding one a bit of E. E. Smith's Lensmen series. Elena must struggle to survive as the only normal human in a world, that, as the veil is drawn back, becomes ever more dangerous. And a way out is always there--tempting her--she can become a vampire herself. Although targeted for a teen audience, you might like this one. Warning--this show is for older teens and adults--it is too violent for younger kids, and the "heroes" are morally ambiguous.

Also on Thursday night is FRINGE from Fox. I really can't do justice to this wonderful show. If you are not watching it, you are missing the best SF on TV today. John Nobel plays Walter Bishop, once the go-to guy for weird military science who has spent a decade in an asylum. Extracted by his son and Olivia Dunham, an FBI agent, to solve a difficult case, he becomes the core of the fringe division, which gets all the weird cases. But this is no X- FILES redux! Walter Bishop recalls famous SF heroes like Professor Challenger, Dr. Quatermass, Tom Swift, and Dr. Benton Quest, but altered a bit by the ingestion of too many drugs during the 60s. The cast is strong, and Nobel is consistently wonderful-- an amazing actor.

The plot line is too complex for easy description--you must stick with this for at least 6 episodes to give it a fair chance. But you will be well rewarded with one of the most complex and imaginative string of ideas to grace any filmed SF. There are some similarities between ALIAS and FRINGE, but the emphasis is different, more on science than James Bond. Created by J. J. Abrams, the show does delve into questions of personal identity and destiny, much as ALIAS did, but it is about so much more! My only fear at this point is that Abrams will let down the audience that way he did with LOST [but not with ALIAS]. Be warned that although this is a great show, there are *strong* horror elements, and it is *really* for older teens and adults. P.S.--the cliffhanger at the end of the first season is fantastic. P.S.S.--Leonard Nimoy guest stars as Walter Bishop's old co-worker and the founder of Massive Dynamics.

Rounding out Thursday night is THE MENTALIST. This is my main example of a non-genre show that *feels* like a genre show when you watch it. Simon Baker plays Patrick Jane, a carny mentalist whose wife and child have been killed by a mysterious psychopath called Red John. Jane joins the CBI [California Bureau of Investigation] as a consultant while continuing to search for his wife and child's killer. So far, this is a simple police procedural, but Jane's mentalist abilities are so far advanced [and yet plausibly explained] that he resembles a Campbellian superman ripped from an old Analog story.

In fact, viewed from one perspective, THE MENTALIST chronicles the conflict between two supermen--Patrick Jane and Red John, and possibly a third character with similar abilities. Ordinary humans are mere pawns for Jane and Red John, and the fate of those caught in the cross fire can be disturbing yet believable. To some extent, the overall arc reminds me of Ted Chiang's story "Understand" concerning two supermen whose conflict is ultimately on the mental plane.

It is also a crackling good police procedural, with an entertaining supporting cast. Simon Baker has created a wonderful and memorable modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Although the conflict with Red John appears now and then, most episodes are standard murder mysteries that are resolved in one hour, most often via Jane's mentalist trickery, but sometimes by the supporting cast. THE MENTALIST is quite entertaining, but has a "scare" level somewhat between LAW AND ORDER and CSI, which means again that this is not a show for younger kids. My 16-year-old son loves the show, and you probably will too!

We finish the week on Friday, starting with SMALLVILLE on the CW. Now in its 10th and final season, I find this show a guilty pleasure. Paul Chisholm has long urged me to watch this one, and I finally started a while back. It follows the formula of most CW shows -hot young men and women with some sort of superficial plot line. They have chosen to retell the origin of Superman in a sort of revisionist history. Over time the scope has expanded to included larger and large parts of the DC universe, so that Green Arrow is now a series regular, along with Aquaman, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, the Flash, General Zod, etc. etc. etc. the Legion of Superheroes, etc. etc.

The inclusion of all the lesser-known DC heroes is what sets SMALLVILLE apart from the various Superman movies, all of which seem to occur in some other universe where the only superhero is Superman. The show takes the heroes and their problems seriously, and that is what makes it interesting. There is no attempt to match real DC universe continuity, but the overall effect is satisfying and respectful. SMALLVILLE is more kid friendly than, say, SUPERNATURAL, but due to a good bit of sex and pulp-style bondage I'd again direct this show to older teens and adults.

SUPERNATURAL now follows SMALLVILLE on the CW on Friday nights. SUPERNATURAL details the adventures of Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who are "hunters"--people who had dedicated their lives to hunting and removing supernatural threats. The main attraction of this show lies in the chemistry between Dean and Sam, which goes well beyond the usual cop buddy clichés. I also find the reworking of traditional monsters interesting, and finally, there is a long and complex story arc involving Sam and Dean. The show has a blue- collar, backwoods Americana feel, mainly because Dean refuses to fly on airplanes, and it is hard to carry their arsenal through a metal detector.

I don't want to give too much away here, but again, rather like E. E. Smith's Lensman series, each season the ante is raised, and the stakes get higher. SUPERNATURAL does not mainly focus on vampires, and not every menace turns out to be supernatural. The canvas gradually gets bigger and bigger, until it is truly cosmic. This is a great show for folks who like this sort of thing, but be warned-- I'd say SUPERNATURAL is "R-rated" in every way except language. It's really not for kids, and if you don't have a considerable toleration for violence stick to something else.

I'll conclude my roundup with SyFy's SANCTUARY, also on Friday night. This show stars Amanda Tapping, formerly of Star Gate, as Dr. Helen Magnus, the leader of a secret group dedicated to protecting "abnormals" from exploitation and the world from rouge abnormals. One intriguing conceit of SANCTUARY is that it is a re- imagination of the LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. The general idea is that in the late 19th century a group of adventurers went way off the deep end. They included a man who became known as Jack the Ripper, never caught due to his power of teleportation, Nikola Tesla, who became a vampire, and Helen Magnus, who became immortal, or nearly so.

The entire show is filmed on green screen, which sometimes results in a cheesy look and sometimes is just fine. SANCTUARY is hobbled by having Amanda, who is blond and American, wear a black wig and affect a British accent. This is so weak they have taken to making jokes about her accent in the script. This is *not* a great show, and I would not put it at the top of any lists, but it is a serious SF show with a lot of pulp style adventure and a few interesting ideas. In spite of the late running hour--10PM--it is more kid friendly than most of the other shows discussed above. Sanctuary is in its second season, so it must have found some audience.

A show that is not running now, but that is planned for another season is TORCHWOOD, which [unlike Dr. Who] is worth checking out. Unfortunately, I understand it will only appear on a pay cable channel, so I'm not sure when I'll be watching the new season.

Let's conclude with a summary set of lists:

Most Kid Friendly:

Most recommended TV SF:

Guilty Pleasures:

Happy watching, pilgrims! [-dls]

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL (film review by Mark R. Leeper):

CAPSULE: BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL is a crime thriller with a heavy parallel religious theme. Mike Taylor all but died when he lost his wife and now drinks to forget. He falls drunk in an alley where he witnesses a murder. He feels compelled to solve the crime even as the story he is uncovering becomes more and more complex. The film is full of little religious references--it takes place in a town called Cainsville--that eventually become a little too cute and cloying. While the filmmakers' intent was probably to make a film full of inspiration, they did much better with the murder story. Rating: low +1 (-4 to +4) or 5/10

There are really two films in BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL. One of the stories is a complicated crime thriller and the other is about someone who, other than being the point-of-view character in the thriller, is really not an important character. The film is about his mixing into the crime story, but at the same time he is going through a crisis of religious faith. I am not saying the crime story is great or even above average, but it is intriguing. On the other hand, I have to admit that spiritual stories do not have much appeal for me. I found that half of the film cloying and much less of interest. For the most part it robs time from but does not get in the way of the thriller. But in one scene a character appears who it is suggested is an angel and who seems to disappear in a way that implies he could be nothing else. This scene verging on fantasy only undermines the non-spiritual side of the film and sabotages any realistic tone.

Mike Taylor had an ideal life as a doctor with a beautiful wife and son. When his wife died suddenly he found refuge in drinking and only sank lower and lower. Finally one night he finds himself in Cainsville, Texas asleep drunk in an alley when he sees a woman being killed by someone he does not see. When he wakes up he becomes obsessed with finding the murderer and solving a crime that the police are skeptical even happened. Soon he is involved with police corruption, with strippers, prostitutes, and a hired killer. All the while he is trying to repair his life and his relationship with his son and to come to an understanding with God. The film is intent on following Taylor's spiritual journey at expense of developing the other characters.

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL is a first film for both the writer and the director. Jason Ward is the director as well as the cinematographer, co-producer, and the composer. Marvin Faulkner wrote the film, plays the lead, and is also a co-producer. The IMDB lists no other films to either's credit. Given that this is the first film either has made, the results beat the expectation. The plot of the crime story is satisfying. Faulkner's script gets that complexity by periodically and frequently throwing in new characters to complicate matters. Occasionally the sound recording is a little off, but generally it is a competent first film.

There is a reasonably decent crime story clicking at the center of this film, but the writer's insistence on delivering a less than subtle spiritual message gums up the works. At times it even pushes the story over into fantasy. The filmmakers needed decide what kind of film they are making so that it is less of a bait and switch. I rate BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL a low +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 5/10. BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL was released on DVD on November 16, 2010. There is little in the packaging to suggest that this film has an inspirational agenda.

Film Credits:


Canned Laughter (letters of comment by David Leeper, Steve Miller, Andre Kuzniarek, Lowell Gilbert, Kip Williams, and Paul Dormer):

In response to Mark's article on canned laughter in the 11/19/10 issue of the MT VOID, David Leeper writes:

It's really annoying ... when channel flipping, I come across situation comedies where stuff that is not the least bit funny gets a roar of canned laughter from the (canned) audience.

The only thing I find more annoying than canned laughter is canned applause ... one of our local radio commentators tries to be clever and wry in his comments, some of which don't even make sense. But he is always rewarded by a burst of self-approving canned applause. He only has one applause track, so it is exactly the same every time. Really tacky. (I wonder if he pushes the button or some sycophantic sound engineer does.)

As I recall, to its credit, "All in the Family" episodes were actually performed before a live audience, and they would say so at the beginning or end(?) of each episode. I never minded that (presumably) genuine laughtrack there since the show was genuinely funny. [-dgl]

Mark replies, "Yes, "All in the Family" did use live, organic laughter. And you could tell the difference. That is part of what made it a classic comedy series. I am not too much troubled by canned laughter these days since I never have on any station that uses it. But then I have on only TCM, PBS, and very occasionally The Discovery Channel. I don't remember ever being aware of canned applause, but it must be an easier effect than canned laughter. There are many different breeds of laugh and many fewer of applause." [-mrl]

Steve Miller writes, "A CD of continuous laughter is available for purchase. For many years I have attended a TV production class. As appropriate, we manually dial laughter in/out of the recorded soundtrack. The laughter volume and laughter duration are the variables controlled by the dial-twister. So what you hear is the dial-twister's sense of humor!" [-sm]

Mark responds, "I would think that this would not work really well. There are more variable than just volume and duration. A chuckle sounds very different from a belly laugh. With all the laughter sounding the same, I would think that it would become obvious before long that this is all the same sort of laughter. There is probably more of a science here than people realize." [-mrl]

Andre Kuzniarek writes about the McGurk Effect of optical and audio illusions, "This unconscious manipulation reminds me of this cool phenomenon: ." [-az]

Mark replies:

This is true. What you see affects what you hear. I sometimes get an effect of looking at a flashing light and hearing a faint sound with it that is not really there. Evelyn claims not have this effect. But then she and I often sense things differently. For example, in a dark room I close my eyes and stare at the insides of my eyelids. I see patterns of light and dark moving around. Evelyn claims that under the same circumstances she just sees black.


I don't know if we are really different or just interpret what we see differently. [-mrl]

Lowell Gilbert writes, "I'm not convinced they've failed to recognize anything. It's not something that's hard to test, and I'm sure they measure it within an inch of its life [and *way* beyond the attention span of any one audience member]." [-lg]

Kip Williams responds:

I'm not looking this up, so I'll stay vague on particulars, much like the way the information resides in my head. There were (and are) several "laughing records" in the 20th century, including the Okeh Laughing Record and the [Spike] Jones Laughing Record. The Okeh may have actually originated in Europe. There's no speech in it to pin down a language, just someone playing a solo on a brass instrument (it may be a trombone both times--the Jones version definitely is) interrupted by laughter which may or may not be prompted by mistakes.

It was determined that listeners just couldn't help laughing along. I have to wonder if this was part of the inspiration for canned laughter. Now that we have canned laughter, the laughing records don't work on me. [-kw]

And, finally, Paul Dormer of the UK notes, "Famously, when the BBC bought 'M.A.S.H.' for showing in the UK, they exercised a clause in their contract that they got versions of the show without a laughter track." [-pd]

CRYOBURN (letter of comment by Jerry Ryan):

In response to Joe Karpierz's review of CRYOBURN in the 11/19/10 issue of the MT VOID, Jerry Ryan writes:

I mostly agree with his assessment. I think of the Miles books as a bit of a guilty pleasure, and I enjoy them quite a bit. The more recent ones have not been as good as the older ones, to be sure. I'd say that MEMORY or maybe even MIRROR DANCE have not yet been matched.

The ending of the book, though, was *not* a surprise. I will not say anything specific about it to avoid spoilers for your readers, but Bujold has been saying that the next challenge in Miles' life would be ... exactly what happened at the end of the book.

I did think it happened rather quickly, though. And the only thing I liked in the afterward was what Gregor said and did. [-gwr]

Complications of Technology (letter of comment by Andre Kuzniarek):

In response to Evelyn's comments on the complications of technology in the 11/19/10 issue of the MT VOID, Andre Kuzniarek writes, "And Evelyn is on the mark about the complications of TV watching these days. My set up at home is overly complex because of making use of older equipment along with the newer--surround amp, laser disc player, DTS decoder, PS3, VHS deck, cable box, widescreen plasma with 6 different inputs (half unused), scores of wiring, some of it digital optical, some of it HDMI, some of it RCA cables, and some of it speaker wire. And 6 remotes! I always leave the TV set up so that my wife can at minimum turn it on and see the weather scan channel. After that, all bets are off for her. I also hate being in bars or other public places with video screens where they can't be bothered to adjust the setting properly for non-widescreen content. Granted, some TVs, like Samsung, don't always give you the setting for progressively stretching on the edges, but most do, yet I never see it being used." [-ak]

This Week's Reading:

I'm going to try something different with EVER SINCE DARWIN by Stephen Jay Gould (ISBN 978-0-393-30818-1). I'm going to try to summarize each essay in a single sentence. If nothing else, it should prove useful when I try to find which particular essay covered a given topic.

In the last essay, Gould makes an observation that is worth noting: "[E. O.] Wilson's intent is admirable; he attempts to affirm the intrinsic dignity of a common and much maligned sexual behavior [homosexuality] by arguing that it is natural for some people--and adaptive to boot (at least under an ancestral form of social organization). But the strategy is a dangerous one, for it backfires if the genetic speculation is wrong. If you defend a behavior by arguing that people are programmed directly for it, then how do you continue to defend it if your speculation is wrong, for the behavior then becomes unnatural and worthy of condemnation. Better to stick resolutely to a philosophical position on human liberty: what free adults do with each other in their own private lives is their business alone. It need not be vindicated--and must not be condemned--by genetic speculation." (written in the mid- 1970s) [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper

Quote of the Week:

          I never knew whether to pity or congratulate 
          a man on coming to his senses.
                                     -- William Makepeace Thackeray

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