It was a quiet Saturday morning at the Nevada Base as Harry Barnes fired up his personal laptop computer. It had been issued one by the Uptimers for his own use from the stockpile they brought along for the mission to the Solar System.
At first he checked the base network for news. Seeing that the Soviets had decided not to launch a first strike on the United States, and that the first of the prisoners of war rescued from North Vietnam were returning to their families here in the mainland, he brought up the word processor program. For the first draft of the paper he decided to use Times New Roman instead of the Courier New font.
To understand the actions of the Uptimers requires knowledge of the nature and purpose of Government. In both cases, the action against the police in Minneapolis and the execution of William Grant in Dallas, the individuals from Uptime were responding to the failure of the local police agencies. Although the Uptimers had agreed to follow the laws of the United States in both cases the local agencies that upheld those laws were clearly not functioning.
In both cases the Uptimers had found themselves in a practical state of anarchy.
In Minneapolis the failure began when the patrol officers were not informed of the visit of Mission Commander Evelyn Boatman to several high technology firms in the Twin Cities area and of his specific physical condition. This was inexcusable as the Saint Paul Police Department had informed their patrol officers of the visit without any difficulty. The second point of failure was the overtly hostile and unprofessional attitude taken with respect to Commander Boatman and his escort from NASA which was followed by a physical assault.
Under the circumstances Commander Boatman had no choice but to use deadly force to protect himself.
The third point of failure was during the mission by the Uptimers to retrieve Commander Boatman from the city. The Federal Authorities had ordered the Minneapolis Police to stand down as the Commander and his NASA escort boarded the lander sent to retrieve them. But a police marksman had taken it upon himself to shoot Commander Boatman in the back with a scoped rifle. With their commander down the squad of Rangers proceeded to clear the area of the landing zone of apparent hostiles.
The summary execution of the televangelist William Grant in the city of Dallas was again a response to the failure of the function of local government.
Judith Grant, the daughter of the televangelist, was brought into the Emergency Room of Parkland Hospital with severe injuries inflicted by her father in a beating. When the doctor who treated her requested the arrest of the assailant the policeman present refused because of Grant's local political connections. When the doctor informed the policeman that Judith could die of her injuries the officer responded by saying that an innocent man would be found and prosecuted for the crime.
The circumstances of the incident were far more disgusting. Judith had been beaten to a pulp for possessing a paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged. And what the policeman actually told Doctor Goldman in the ER was disgusting beyond belief.
Doctor Barnes continued to write.
The ER Physician had called upon the Uptimers for assistance and the Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Alice Boatman had arrived at Parkland Hospital by lander and upon consulting with the ER Physician the decision was made to transfer Judith to the starship Eagle for further treatment. It was at this time that the televangelist William Grant had entered the ER and physically blocked the transfer of the patient.
The Dallas police officers present refused to remove the physically and now verbally abusive father from the path of the Uptimers, it was at this point that Doctor Boatman used her personal weapon to perform a Saigon Special on William Grant.
As the Objectivist representative to the Uptimers Doctor Barnes had been made aware of the Doctor Boatman's personal background and the appalling circumstances of her early life. That she had grown up to be a fully rational woman was nothing short of amazing. That she had calmly treated her encounter with the televangelist as a clinical problem, such as the removal of a cancerous tumor, was in some respects frightening.
Harry then sat back and thought. The next part of the article would place the actions of the Uptimers in context.
The future colonists of Alpha Centauri properly hold that the use of retaliatory force must be placed under objective control and thus delegated to government in a rational society. But in both cases the local government had failed to carry out this function. As a result of this failure the Uptimers hold that the authority and responsibility to act with force reverts back to the individual. As an example they cite the actions of General Loan during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.
The situation on this day in Saigon was pure chaos. No one on the ground could have been sure that there would be a functioning government on the next day. Into this situation a Viet Cong terrorist had been captured after he murdered the family of a National Police officer. General Loan as the commander of the National Police had no idea if the terrorist could ever be prosecuted and punished for his actions. So in the absence of a clearly functional authority he personally carried out the judgment and execution of the murderer.
It was no secret on the base that the Uptimers view General Loan as a hero.
At this point Doctor Barnes sent the document to the printer.