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IEET > Rights > ReproRights > Life > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Staff > Kyle Munkittrick

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Your Body, Your Choice: Fight for Your Somatic Rights


Kyle Munkittrick
By Kyle Munkittrick
Discover: Science Not Fiction

Posted: Jul 3, 2011

“My body, my choice.” We hear that slogan constantly, but what the hell do those four words mean?

Many of us have one or two political issues surrounding our bodies that get us fired up. Many of you reading this right now probably have some hot-button issue on your mind. Maybe it’s abortion, or recreational drug usage, or marriage rights, or surrogate pregnancy, or assisted suicide, or sex work, or voluntary amputation, or gender reassignment surgery.

For each of these issues, there are four words that define our belief about our rights, “My body, my choice.” How you react to those words determine which side of any of those debates you are on. That’s just the thing, though – there aren’t a bunch of little debates, there is just one big debate being argued on multiple fronts. All of these issues find their home in my field of philosophy: bioethics. And within the bioethics community, there is a small contingency that supports a person’s right to choose what to do with their body in every single one of those examples. Transhumanists make up part of that contingency.

If you are pro-choice on abortion or think that gender reassignment surgery is an option everyone should have, you agree with transhumanism on at least one issue. Many current political arguments are skirmishes and turf battles in what is a movement toward what one might call somatic rights. In some cases the law is clear, as it is with marriage rights or drug usage, and the arguments are over whether or not to remove, amend, or change the law. Other cases are so ambiguous that the law is struggling to define itself, as with surrogate pregnancy and voluntary amputation. And sooner or later (I’ve given up on guessing time-frames), instead of merely arguing over what we’re allowed to do with the body we’re born with, there will be debates about our rights to choose what kind of body we have. By looking at the futuristic ideas of genetic engineering and robotic prosthetic technology, we can understand how transhumanism maximizes the “my body, my choice” mantra.

We have a lot of laws about what you can’t do with your body. On the other hand, think about how many different things can be defended with “It’s my body, I’ll do what I want!” Why do we say that? The answer seems painfully obvious: because we’re the only ones who know what it’s like to have our body and it’s probably the only thing we really, truly own. No one can take your body without also taking your life – which as it turns out, is a great way to put your money where your mouth is when you’re a philosopher. Like any good philosopher, however, my job is to examine the painfully obvious. In part, because if it’s all so damn obvious, then why does every lawmaker, religious leader, and jerk with a megaphone think they have a right to tell you or me what to do with our bodies? Is it just jealousy?

Let’s say we live in the future and I have the option to get a robot body and genetically modify my brain to make myself smarter, kinder, and happier. My guess is many people would be very upset if I was traipsing around with a glorious, glistening body made of heretofore unheard of alloys with a genetically tricked-out brain. I would be a magnificent testament to science and engineering. I would be happier, healthier, and smarter. So what possible justification would the paternalists of the world have for telling me I can’t upgrade my physical body?

There are three responses:

  • Response One: “Your life is just too important for me to let you ruin it, let me set some ground rules to make sure you don’t make a decision you’ll regret later.” The paternalist rule-makers paint themselves as bearing the burden of responsibility for our lives. We don’t know what is good for us, but they do.
  • Response Two: “What about the children?” Somewhere, out there, is a person with a permanent scowl on his or her face, of whom children are frightened, who has already figured out how my robot body will hurt the children. I imagine it will involve something like “sets a bad impression.”
  • Response Three: “It breaks with tradition and is immoral.” Understand here that tradition and morality are not ethics. I differentiate morals and ethics in the following way. “Thou shall not kill” is a moral rule. “The biological mother should carry and raise the child, anything else is strange and wrong” is tradition. “Banning marriage between consenting adults of the same-sex is unethical because it infringes upon the life, liberty, and happiness of those individuals based on sexual preference” is ethics. See that “because?” Only in ethics do you have a logical reason following the normative claim. Morality and tradition rely upon the authority of some figure (imagined or not) or history (accurate or not).

In each case, the actual right to your body is deferred to some third party, either the paternalists, the hypothetical children, or unreasoned authority. Transhumanists and like-minded bioethicists recognize that somatic rights are individual rights. That means that, unless they harm someone else directly, you should be able to do as you please. I find it amazing that for all of our amendments protecting freedom of religion, and assembly, and the press, we lack an amendment protecting freedom of bodily self-determination.

A rough and ready version of what freedom of bodily self-determination might look like has three key principles:

  1. “My body, my choice” means that if what you do only affects your body, you should have the right to do it. Period, full stop.
    That includes allowing someone to do something to your body. So:
  2. If you want to have something done to your body (e.g. surgery to modify your body or to allow a person to pay you to do something with your body), then you should have the right to do that.
  3. If you don’t want something to happen to your body (e.g. for your body to become pregnant or for it to be kept working at all costs (both in terms of money and dignity)), then you should have that right as well.



Read the rest here


Kyle Munkittrick, IEET Program Director: Envisioning the Future, is a recent graduate of New York University, where he received his Master's in bioethics and critical theory.
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COMMENTS


Okay, here’s the complete list.

I want to graft a pair of living horns to my head.
I want to replace my feet with cloven hooves.
I want to extend my spine with a prehensile tail with a spaded tip that can be used as a third hand.
I want to graft a pair of wings to my shoulders, replacing both my shoulder blades with modified ones capable of supporting wings, and replace all my musculature with graphene based artificial muscle to enable flight and super strength.
I want to extend both my upper and lower canines
I want to add points to my ears.
I want to modify my eyes to see infrared, ultraviolet, and electronic displays.
I want to replace my hair with synthetic fibers that can change length, color, and curliness at will.
I want tattoos that can disappear at will, and glow in the dark.
I want Lady Deathstrike’s talons.
I want Wolverine’s healing factor.
I want FF breasts that will never sag.
I want to eventually replace my entire body with a nanomachine colony with identical features, but which can be reshaped at will to enable me to assume any body shape I desire.

Now. give me one single reason why I should be denied the right to do anything with myself that I choose?

It’s ain’t nobody’s business if I do

It’s my body and and I’ll modify if I want to, modify if I want to, modify if I want to, you’d modify too if you happen to choose. (Yes, Val is punch drunk from a long hard night at work and being silly.)





Most of it does appear to be turf war, Kyle: abortion is a hard one to figure, as the sound & fury is so massively disproportionate to the actual issue. Talk about cathected, something much larger than merely abortion itself must be in force; it might be a pervasive fear involving sacrifice- esp. religious sacrifice… that is, child sacrifice, crucifixion, etc, and a bias against women even more pervasive than racism/ethnicism.
Part of body-controversy is not emotive in nature, but also just not knowing. For instance as a random example, it would be intuitive to surmise women generally live a few more years than men because of environmental factors; however it could very well be that since women have been more important than men for reproduction, evolution has given women a few more years to live. Blogging at rightwing blogs every day (i.e. AmSpec) I see that so many of us older people have amassed a great deal of information, unfortunately so much of it is outmoded. Thus rightwingers aren’t only angry white males, they were also born in a time when what is now outdated info was inculcated into their minds. That almost goes without saying.





I am all on the body ownership and diversity band wagon.  Modification or basic control are important.  This is why when my mom has issues with my little sister dying her hair purple, pink, green, etc, I come to her defense.  I did however ask her why once.  Her response was, “We live in a small town, your sister has a hard time making friends and feels socially awkward, people pick on her anyway, why make it worse.”  I countered with, “it allows her to define the issues people pick on her for and to take ownership and control of those scenarios.”  I think, that paternalistic bent is often a socially normative and tribal drive to keep everyone in the tribe in good graces with the rest of the tribe, it is an effort to prevent dissention.  I understand liberty is liberty, but often such choices impair ones ability to be gainfully employed in places like I live in.  Paternalistic, yes that is a frequent drive,  but maybe it is a drive towards a productive society.  On the same note, I look at modification and full body morphological changes as a good thing for the more conservative world at large.  Then they can focus their fear on people who choose to mod, rather than on race and other biological factors.  It to me seems a step in the right direction.  That, and it’ll make those of us who have birth defects and tons of not easily coverable scars less noticable.  Of course that is just me being selfish, living in my world.





We need another Thomas Jefferson to liberate the body’s orifices.





I think the outlier on the list is abortion. Because it might have an affect on another being. (I suppose “affect” is putting it mildly.) I’m not saying for sure that the fetus is a human being. That’s presumptuous, even if it does have a heartbeat. But I’m not saying for sure that it’s not a human being. That’s presumptuous, too.
That’s why I used the word “might” above.





excellent article ! thanks !





“I think the outlier on the list is abortion. Because it might have an affect on another being. (I suppose “affect” is putting it mildly.) I’m not saying for sure that the fetus is a human being. That’s presumptuous, even if it does have a heartbeat. But I’m not saying for sure that it’s not a human being. That’s presumptuous, too. That’s why I used the word ‘might’ above.”

Abortion is not ethical, however it is quite expedient which is why Roe v Wade should and shall be retained. Personally, I don’t trust right-wingnuts who are “Pro- Life”. The Jesus they worship is a bloody diety.
You can separate the issue of abortion and the Pro-Life crowd only in your mind—they go together because rightwing religionists are not going to just give up their position like ‘THAT’; they will continue to politicize it to the max.





The problem with abortion is that we wouldn’t need it if we had the ability to prevent unwanted pregnancy 100% of the time and the ability to fix the kinds of genetic and medical problems that typically cause people to choose to abort wanted pregnancies.  If that were the case—we could say that it wasn’t ethical.

It’s kinda funny, though—the same people who are most likely to be anti-abortion are also the ones who don’t want women to be able to prevent themselves from becoming pregnant unless they truly want to become pregnant (nor men to be able to prevent starting a pregnancy, unless they truly want to), and are also usually the ones who are against developing the technology to prevent the problems that cause most people to end pregnancies they would have preferred to continue.

That right there tells me that the ethics of ending an undeniably human life which hasn’t yet become a human person isn’t the real root of their objections.  Should it become possible to clone humans or to produce embryos from cells other than human eggs and sperm, I doubt these people will become zealously opposed to the destruction of all living cells of human origin.





“That right there tells me that the ethics of ending an undeniably human life which hasn’t yet become a human person isn’t the real root of their objections.”

“Pro-Life” root-reasons are too complicated to fathom, yet we do know they are disingenuous.





“Personally, I don’t trust right-wingnuts who are “Pro- Life”. The Jesus they worship is a bloody diety.”

Well, post-post, that was easy. Now how do you deal with the “pro-lifers” who are not  “nuts”?





If “Pro-Life” activists were consistent, they would not only press for the overturning of Roe v Wade, they would want to institute penalties for women who drink alcohol (and or smoke) while pregnant… UNLESS the Pro-Life people don’t care if a baby is born in a bad state; that is to say if the Pro-Life people only want babies to be born and do not care if babies are born in bad shape, suffering from fetal-alcohol syndrome and other conditions, then their positions would be consistent. Revolting, but consistent.

What does faith-based thinking have to with consistency?





Post Post writes: “Abortion is not ethical, however it is quite expedient which is why Roe v Wade should and shall be retained.”

Are you sure that came out right?

Punching someone in the nose is also not ethical but expedient.





Veronica, perhaps you meant to type “Pat Robertson Blog” on your keyboard rather than IEET? we wont get anywhere with abortion polemics at a technoprogressive site. IMO “pro-life” is a demagogic wedge-issue; If it were more sincere it would be worth discussing—but it is largely hysterical in nature, and a now-transparent ploy to help tea baggers & Republicans, etc., gain more votes.
However here is one question and one question only, so it would be appreciated if you would answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’: do you advocate the repeal, the vacating, of the Roe v Wade decision of 1973? ‘Maybe’ is not a decisive answer; so, again, answer yes or no. I have made my choice: ‘no’; so make yours. We have to make choices to be decisive—such is called expediency, expediting a choice.





I’m not arguing for pro-life here. All I’m doing is showing my perplexity at the way you argued against it. First you took the easy way out by blasting “right-wing nuts”, and then you gave a really weird reason why Roe v wade should be maintained (which you subsequently greatly clarified, thanks!)

I feel disinclined to answer your one and only question.

However, I would like to disagree with your statement: “You can separate the issue of abortion and the Pro-Life crowd only in your mind”

The fact that it’s only the majority, and not the unanimity, of people who oppose abortion are part of the Pro-Life “crowd” (read: Christian fundamentalists) proves my point.





BTW, Veronica, the previous comments weren’t to necessarily write that you are incorrect, they were to say—for starters—one cannot be pro-abortion and at the same time anti-abortion.
A conscience divided cannot stand. I personally do not change my mind on abortion or other issues every time a Christian rube thumps his Bible.
And as you do not want to underestimate ethics, you do not want to underestimate expediency either. Very many decisions we execute are entirely value neutral—not based on genuine morality. At best, situational ethics.

At best.





I think you’re a bit fixated on “Christian rubes,” as if you don’t want to deal with opponents who are more clear-headed.
With that said, however, I happen to appreciate your last post very much. It was well-stated.





“I feel disinclined to answer your one and only question.”

All your points taken save for the above; IMO not answering is being evasive.





I was going to say, “I feel like evading your answer,” but I thought that “disinclined” sounded so much cooler.





i feel we should use more “obsolete the dilemna” trick of <Ben GOertzel when, even among us we can’t reach easy fast agreement on such easy topic as pro-life or not ; ok, abortion is a crime against nature ; okthis egg had no conscience ; ok “depending on the girl” it could have bad consequences on a mental level (it depends on the education of the girl, if she feels guilty, if she associate it with the fact of the father-boyfriend leaving blablabl) etc.


let’s just pretend, in a close enough time we’ll have a scientific solution to really decide before what we want or not, not those bad pills or condoms, we’ll have more clean and reliable means to choose.

then your whole debate (i’m sorry) is useless ; and we’d rather write an open letter to Ron PAul for him to recrut Aubrey de Grey as Chief Health of Capitol Hill.

AHAHAH





“I think you’re a bit fixated on ‘Christian rubes,’ as if you don’t want to deal with opponents who are more clear-headed.”

This is what we disagree on, not really anything else per se. Blogging every day on rightist sites, it is flattering they call me ‘liberal’, when I not only am less forward-looking than they, but also practically speaking am more Luddite: since they are so pro-business (to put it mildly) they have the latest gadgets and invest in the future—if for their own descendants sakes’ if for no one elses’. And I accept religion due to incipient aging and being hidebound.
Veronica, there is “leftist” PC and “rightist” PC: you, without knowing you, might agree leftist conspiracy theorizing on, say, WTC controlled demolition was & is ‘wingnut’. However isn’t defending religious conspiracy-wingnuts also PC? but in one sense this is a nonstarter, as conservatism = hierarchy; so for me to say ‘Christian rubes’ is redundant: comparable to writing “Benedict Ratzinger is a Papist”, or ‘bears live in the woods’.
By their own lights, and it goes without saying via Scripture, Christians are on solid ground traditionally. So it would be PC to write ‘traditional Christians’, it is fairly redundant—‘rubes’ will do as shorthand.
As with Hank, my experience has been that 99.9 of Christians are imbeciles, yet I do accept Christianity and religion in general, as there is little choice in the matter. They own the store, it says In God We Trust on currency, not In Progress We Trust.
Some are disgusted with abortion, and I am disgusted with the archaic—while at the same time accepting it as placebo. One can accept anachronism without swimming in it.

Or being drowned in it.





Difficult not to digress in verbalizing such broad topics as religion/spirituality & “pro-life”; to continue on to other somatic rights issues would be impossible save for a full piece written by a professional. Merely to begin would be to pick a random departure point. So this is to start with religion still being important as escapism, a default. People only deep down care about their kin, friends, and associates—agape love is water in the desert; thus religion is a buffer: a sort of rightwing socialim. Just for starters, Arthur Koestler wrote “charity is what keeps civilization in its orbit”, and faith-based charity has been crucial. However beyond that it becomes too metaphysical for the non-religious to discuss. A religious/spiritual site is more appropriate.
Only thing I don’t get is why you would think ‘rube’ is unfair shorthand. Is it unfair to call a Communist a ‘Commie’? no. You almost certainly don’t like PC, Veronica. The longer the designation, the more likely it is obfuscation is at play. A white nationalist referring to himself as ‘Euro American’ is pompous; IMO so is a black person calling himself ‘African -American’. It appears of little importance yet it is somewhat indicative of pomposity, obfuscation.
So why can’t “rube” be accepted as shorthand for traditional, old fashioned… et cetera? Agreed that “they”—for brevity’s sake not being more specific—I call rubes are more clearheaded (one would imagine those who rise up to high positions would be quite clear-headed) however does that mean they are wiser? more in touch with the spirituality in the ether? Are ANY religious individuals and groups necessarily more knowledgeable than you or I? plus isn’t spirituality/religion at least as much from the ‘soul’ as much as from the mind?
As for somatic rights, there would be no argument with “pro- life” if the scripture included ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Abortion’ in the Ten Commandments, but this is not the case—and Christianity is technically based on its canon, the Bible.

No problem with Jesus yet as Hank wrote, in his experience Christians are imbeciles; and I just happen to agree.





you have to agree that no one will resist to transcend (ultimately of course) you RELIGION IS APPROPRIATE - EVEN JESUS WILL BE REMINDED TO US THROUGH TIME SCANNING





Well that is optimistic! You Frenchwomen—you sparkle as the wine in a Boulevarder’s glass.
But it is maddening how we are told to be critically rational yet “they” wont discuss these matters in depth. ‘Traditional Christianity’ is redundant, Christianity is in and of itself a tradition, ‘traditional Christianity’ is comparable to the redundancy of ‘socialistic communism’.
I accept Christianity for many reasons, however the majority of Christians grossly misrepresent the teachings of Christ, negating the spirituality. “Their” (without being specific as to who ‘they’ are) positions on abortion appear to be originally based on ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, which is not even the #1 Commandment. Yet such is the sort of nebulous thinking they might accuse me of. One can accept Christianity, unfortunately accepting those who call themselves Christians is extremely difficult if they use such poor logic to push pro-life (anti-abortion) agendas. If Jesus were alive He would be ashamed of those who call themselves Christians.
No one says “they” have to be perfect, but if they are imbeciles they are not worth paying attention to, nor their faiths.





One more comment on ‘rube’; definitions of rube include unsophisticated, rural, etc. Religion (which gave birth to politics) began in desolate, unsophisticated areas. You would quickly acknowledge how Islam derived from the superstitious deserts of Arabia however it is embarrassing to admit Judeo-Christianity was similar in origin.
But what am I really getting at?: if you are tired of ‘leftist’ PC, then please do ditch rightist PC—no one worth mentioning is in the future going to fall for it.

The jig is up.





One more [promise] comment on religion for today.
What I want Christians and other faith-based persons to do most of all is discuss the dichotomy: taking Christianity as an example, the positive is that which most of us are aware of:
a) compassion;
b) charity;
c) attempts at forgiving enemies (though IMO people scarcely forgive enemies);
and so on.

The negative is: subconsciously, Christians wish to crucify others, this viscerality is both in the individual and of the collective unconscious. And that is very negative—it almost ruins Christianity for me, it is like looking into a punch bowl to discover a large turd sitting in the punch.





what is PC ?

 





PC= Politically Correct.
It basically means obfuscation, e.g. ‘pro life’ & ‘pro choice’ are to sanitize the anti-abortion & pro-abortion meanings.
Two more examples of PC are the ‘rightist’ PC of:
“Reagan, who said ‘government is the enemy’, was such an anti-statist” that we named a multi-billion dollar government airport after him in the city where the federal government is headquartered.
And the ‘leftist’ PC of:
“Ted Kennedy was such a caring champion of minorities and women” that he got sloshed one night and drove a debutante off a bridge, drowning her.

That SORT of thing.





@ Post Post—“I accept Christianity for many reasons, ... Religion… began in desolate, unsophisticated areas. You would quickly acknowledge how Islam derived from the superstitious deserts of Arabia however it is embarrassing to admit Judeo-Christianity was similar in origin.”

Let’s see… You accept Christianity, and doing so, by logic, forces you to accept many of the basics of Judaism (eh, no such thing as “Judeo-Christianity”), such as the teaching that God taught a bunch of stuff to the Israelites, through Moses, in the Sinai Desert. So, are you saying that you accept Christianity even though Jesus would surely teach that his ancestors were not superstitious desert dwellers, but rather desert dwellers who were sophisticated enough to learn some things right from God?





“You accept Christianity, and doing so, by logic, forces you to accept…”

“Forces”? this is your perception; a martinet’s. Abraham, it’s all your hermeneutics which, seeing as how this is a technopressive blog, is not something most here would spend much time with. I only do because I have Christianity in my subconscious—it’s like software in the mind; having been on the spiritual market before 1.0 was sold circa 4000 BCE.
One can accept Christianity without much LIKING it. We *accept* death & taxes, don’t we? or if ‘tolerate’, ‘acquiesce in’, ‘reach a modus vivendi with’, and the rest, are more applicable, then go for it. I perceive religion/spirituality as entertainment mostly; ‘escapism’ is the word most readily coming to mind. A family can go to a house of worship to escape the unappetizing realities of their hectic substrate; a slum family can escape the seediness of their neighborhood in a house of worship, etc. Or perhaps I could write “most people are superstitious in some way so they need the crutch, the security blanket, of religion—religion is necessary fiction that can comfort those in distress, those sick, even those dying. Those dying can be uplifted by expectation of an afterlife.”
You can substitute ‘spirituality’ for ‘religion’; or ‘God’, or even say “may the Force be with you, Obie Wan Kenobe.”
I am not saying you are mistaken, Abraham, but again this is a techoprogressive site; if you want to go into a discussion of abortion and somatic rights we might possibly engage in a fruitful discussion—“by their fruits ye shall know them” sayeth our Lord. Another possibility (without knowing you, you are a complete stranger) you are fishing for souls and you think this blog is a good one to cast your line into. However, the fish are not biting today, Abraham.
So you might want to try another fishing hole.





Sorry, post-post, for interpreting the word “accept” in the most ordinary use of the word. Next time, I’ll put on my poet’s cap if I want to analyze something you write.





True, Abraham, however you might always keep in mind how religion/spirituality cannot be discussed intellectually: which is where the truism “tricky as a priest” derived from. A priest (of all faiths) is a con-artist par excellence.
Say on a scale of 1-10 the Reverend Billy Graham
—a relatively sincere man—is a ‘1’, while, say, David Koresh (who told his followers he was Jesus) was a ‘10’. Plus Koresh managed to arrange for his flock to be burnt alive—quite a feat.

“Gimme that ol’ time religion…”





Twice you pointed out that this is a technoprogressive site and thus I should refrain from arguing religion, but twice you added a dig about religion. Maybe you should follow your own advice.





To actually return to being on-topic for once, Abraham (not to pick on you, yet the handle ‘Abraham’ at an h+ site is little better than calling oneself ‘Moses’), would you be so kind as to reveal your position on abortion? that is to say would you write whether or not you think Roe v Wade ought to be vacated? if bloggers don’t reveal what they think one might conclude they are being dodgy; one might conclude they are hiding something, which can be considered by some to be un-forthright—even possibly un-Christian.
Such might perhaps be called a SIN by some.





Think “Lincoln”, not “Forefather.”
And post-post, the topic of this post was a lot broader than just abortion. Asking (closer to demanding) my position on one subset of the topic strikes me as odd. And by using the phrases “unchristian, un-forthright, dodgy, and sin(ful) even before you asked me the question strikes me as doubly odd. I really don’t think I want to continue this conversation with you.





Of course you do not want to continue this conversation; you would not answer even one question (we naturally don’t have to discuss all subsets at the same time). You and others—Veronica comes immediately to mind—are good card players, you never tip your hands. Well, good for you! you can do well in the secular realm by never giving an inch.
I have nothing against Jesus; if the historical record is accurate, He was all He said He was/is. He may be the son of God: whatever the son of God is. Unfortunately for us, though perhaps not for His powerful followers, He is grossly misrepresented & commercialized by many or most of His followers.
So IMO at this time Christianity and all religion and or spirituality is escapism, many forms of escapism, yet escapism is what best describes ‘it’. Rite, ritual, church activities of all sorts, is what is salient. Pure spirituality is entirely subjective and not verbalizable; at least not at a technoprogressive site, that is for sure—and is what you appear to have difficulty grasping.





The record shows that you asked me that charged question out of the blue. That’s not the sign of a person with healthy relationship building. And again you’re going on and on about Christianity even though this is a technoprogressive site. Talk about not grasping.





Very nicely stated article, Kyle.  Rather disappointing set of comments, however. 

@valkyrie ice - more power to ya! nice list.





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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376