Additional Notes (Our Fundamental Rights): (for inside dust-jacket)

Chapter 2:

There is indeed enormous controversy among libertarians over abortion. Some maintain that there is a right not to be the victim of aggression, but no particular right to have one's life continued at expense to others. The enormous cost of caring for the aging (as we face an Alzheimer's explosion) is now smothered by Medicaid programs, but some day we may see children (especially those without dependents) being required to support aging parents as states find Medicaid payments for custodial care going out of control.

Moral arguments about the right to life might support legislation, say, prohibiting health insurance companies from screening consumers with genetic tests, as well as against organ-selling. And libertarian thought could regard the creation of human life according to a specific genetic code as "aggression."

Chapter 3:

As NBC "Dateline" reported on Nov. 10, 1998, private companies in Nazi Germany participate in using "slave labor" and there is controversy today over whether they still owe reparations.

Chapter 4:

In 1833, Judge Joseph Story, in writing about the 3rd, or "Quartering" Amendment, had noted that the the 3rd Amendment implies that a "man's home is his castle; and that this was the first time a Justice referred to a right to privacy.

Overuse of antibiotics and development of resistance among bacteria provides another menacing example of where private behaviors may eventually jeopardize public health.

Certainly, unplanned pregnancies among unmarried women create a cost that "society" pays for and arguably makes a lot of heterosexual private activity society's "business" but then questions come up such as, holding fathers responsible, welfare reform, voluntary assistance arrangements.

Chapter 5:

Is writing a profession? There is even a National Writer's Union.

Moral rights, widely recognized in Europe and less so in the United States, prevent unauthorized misrepresentation or adaptations of an author's work. Respect for moral rights does not usually interfere with free speech. An author's wish that he not be mentioned in a publication with some slant he finds objectionable would not violate his "moral rights."

Congress has considered making it a crime (at least in pictures) to suggest that a minor is engaging in sexual activity even if an adult is used or the image is generated by computer. Remember the film The Tin Drum, which a district attorney in Oklahoma tried to ban on the theory that a particular bedroom scene constitutes "child pornography."

The Child Online Protection Act is already being challenged in federal court. There is controversy as to whether the Act regulates subject matter, or just specific ways of expressing adult subject matter. There is also controversy over whether the limitation of the act to "commercial" content providers protects free speech in practice, and whether there is sufficient protection from prosecution for internet web hosts who may "solicit" content providers. Plaintiffs claim that adult identification at login, at least in a way that would not hinder efficient web use of, say, discussion groups, is not yet economically feasible. It appears to me that web development and browser software could develop a rating system (similar to movies), that content providers would then rate their sites appropriately, and that parents, when buying personal computers and providing Internet accounts for their own children, could reasonably be expected to set up these accounts with appropriate rating controls. Then adults would face no interference. But this isn't good enough for the politicians.

Chapter 6

Of course, we could debate the "morality" of organ selling according to a "market": blood plasma (sometimes allowed), sperm (allowed), kidneys (not allowed).

Chapter 10

The Preamble to the Constitution contains the phrase, "promote the general welfare." Indeed, this is legally a legitimate function of even the federal government (we can argue about explicit powers as listed by the founding fathers) and could be construed by social conservatives (or liberals!) as a warrant to "legislate morality" as a prerequisite to "ordered liberty." But "general welfare" historically tends to relate to how well one group or constituency (nationality, race, religious or cultural group, or income level) when compared to others. "Morality" of personal actions (personal accountability) becomes confused with loyalty to the immediate needs of one's group. Debate tends to concentrate on how groups treat each other than on how individuals do. After all, when a government does something wrong, it is usually the result of ego-mongering among those in power.

Appendix 1

On the Proposed 28th Amendment, I would add to provision 12 the phrase, " and without undue hindrance to legitimate adult communication." This would be necessary to properly meet the 1998 Child Online Protection Act.