THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 382, August 27, 2006
"Government is not the way to get things done."
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Most Libertarians are now aware of the Bob Smither campaign for congress in TX CD 22, Tom Delay's district. This is a very viable campaign as there is only Smither and the Democrat, Lampson, on the ballot. I even found Smither a hot topic of conversation at the GOP booth at the San Juan County (NM) fair this past week.
I was very excited about the Smither campaign until I learned that he is pushing the national sales tax. The national sales tax is a very un-libertarian, regressive scheme that would shift the tax burden to the poor. Personally, it would literally take food off my table.
There is a "rebate" feature that doesn't impress me a bit.
"How does the rebate work? All valid Social Security cardholders who are U.S. residents receive a monthly rebate equivalent to the FairTax paid on essential goods and services, also known as the poverty level expenditures. The rebate is paid in advance, in equal installments each month. The size of the rebate is determined by the Department of Health & Human Services' poverty level guideline multiplied by the tax rate. This is a well-accepted, long-used poverty-level calculation that includes food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical care, etc."
We would all get government checksunless of course, we've declined to participate in the federal pyramid scam or if we've been naughtyand you can bet the feds will have all types of ways to withhold those checks. Believe me, I have extensive experience in trying to get money back from the government.
What type of alternative tax could a real libertarian support?
Personal income tax violates our natural right to the fruits of our labor.
Property tax violates our natural right to private property.
Sales tax violates our natural right to the free exchange of goods and services.
The corporate income tax violates no natural rights since a corporation is not a natural person. Since the corporation is a creation of the state, let it bear the cost of the state. The machinery is already in place. Of course, the taxes are passed on to consumers as higher prices so this is no substitute for reducing the scope and expense of government. But it could level the competitive playing field for mom-and-pop proprietorships.
If Mr. Smither renounces the sales tax, we should all get behind him. He could be the first Libertarian in congress. If he persists, he must not be the LP's first congressman. This tax-the-poor-more scheme would besmirch the good name of the LP.
This letter should be read in association with "Go To Your Room, Take a Pill" by L. Neil Smith in this issue.Editor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nothing But Net: New Party Holds Online Convention
CyberiaAt what may have been the world's first online political convention, members of America's new libertarian political party organized over the weekend for the long haul.
The event, which commenced immediately after midnight on Saturday and adjourned early Monday morning, featured the election of a permanent national committee for the Boston Tea Party, adoption of a political program, and overwhelming rejection of a proposal that the fledgling organizationfounded by disenchanted Libertarian Party members after that party's national convention last monthre-enter the LP as an internal caucus.
"Lots of decisions remain to be made," says chair-elect Tom Blanton of Virginia. "But we've established the framework for making them, and we've decided to declare our independence and forge ahead on our own rather than as part of a party that we feel has failed to provide America with a real libertarian political alternative."
First priorities, says Blanton, include chartering affiliate parties and seeking ballot access to run candidates for political office. Since the party organized late in the 2006 election cycle, it seems likely that its first candidates will be for local, non-partisan office next springbut the party's newly adopted bylaws call for the nomination of a 2008 presidential presidential slate.
The new party's five-point program calls for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act, an end to the federal government's war on marijuana, repeal of the "REAL ID" national identification program, and "bottom up" cuts to the federal income tax and Social Security taxes. Its one-sentence platform calls for reducing, and never increasing, the size, power and scope of government.
Boston Tea Party web site
Thomas L. Knapp
Re.: "...to institute new Government, laying its foundation...", by Dennis Lee Wilson
I take exception to your words in the above, and I'll consider that you mean well, however ...
Actually, no sooner had the ink completely dried upon the parchment of said Constitution, when it happened that those 'brave souls' who put forth their signatures thereupon in agreement with the principles and limits therein elucidated, that theyand others who followed, began to equivocate at length as to just what was meant by the collection of words now in evidence.
Remember Shay's Rebellion?
How may constituted government equivocate? Let US count the ways!
I consider that I might safely say, that at virtually NO point in the history of the US, has governmentof whatever sort, been completely honest, entirely forthright, or been in any way, manner, fashion, shape, or form, faithful to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independenceabsolutely NOT to mention, the subsequent Bill of Rights.
In point of fact, it has been incontrovertibly in opposition to any such idea as liberty, paying lip service, and displaying window dressingall the while working overtime to usurp great power in the name of itselfand its assigns, one way or another.
All constituted government is not anything other than either a 'rich-boy's club' or a place for the 'effete elite' to garner ever more power for their own puerile purposes (communism/socialism, fascism, elitism, whatever-ism).
I consider that you fool yourself, iffor even a moment, you think that what we have now was ever predicated upon anything other than a fool's wet dream.
Jefferson's declaration was the absolute closest that weas as peoplecame to being free.
Representative government is in essence rule of the minority over the majority.
Ergoas L.N. Smith says, self-government is the only valid form of government.
I would guess that by the numbers, a lot of people like whores ...
Any manor woman, who pretends to announce that they know what's best for any of us, is without a doubt more dangerous than the worst of violent criminals: Criminals act, and then move on; politicians act, and act, and act. No one single act by them is good enough, as it absolutely must be followed by yet another act ever more heinous than the lastall in our names, and 'best interests.'
Ergo, virtually any constitutionsave one, is nothing less than the best excuse to violate everything we hold dearincluding our lives, and those of all othersanywhere.
The only constitution worthy of consideration is the one which says:
In my book, the fewerand plainerthe words, the better.
Response to E.J. Totty:
(E.J. Totty statements are preceded by > ).
> "...to institute new Government, laying its foundation...", by Dennis Lee Wilson
> I take exception to your words in the above, and I'll
> I take exception to your words in the above, and I'll
I refuse to publish my speculations about why you included the second phrase in that sentence.
> To wit:
Thank you for responding to my article, but I wonder if you read beyond the first sentence of the second paragraph. Indeed, the criticisms that you offer indicate that you stopped reading in the very middle of that sentence (the part that you reproduced in your letter, but without the benefit of quote marks to distinguish my words from yours). I welcome criticism of what I write because I expect to learn from such criticism, but your criticism is directed at the very least important part of the article.
Furthermore, you don't appear to grasp that there is a moral principle contained in the Non Aggression Principle (NAP/ZAP) that serves as a moral foundation for the Covenant of Unanimous Consent, which is a political statement. Because it is general and abstract, many people are unable (or unwilling) to consistently apply a moral principle to everyday life. Examples abound among "Libertarians" who appear to agree about the ZAP and hardly anything else. That is why a political statement consistent with the moral principle is important and that is part of the reason why the Covenant is so much better than the Constitution. In addition to having a solid moral foundation, something the Constitution barely acknowledges as an afterthought in its first 10 amendments, the Covenant is personal and enforceable, neither of which can be said about the Constitution.
> Actually, no sooner had the ink completely dried upon the
I don't disagree with any of the historical facts you present (and of which I was already aware), but I am bewildered as to why you think them necessary to my article. If I am to include a repetition of early American history as you suggest, then I should also not forget the First & Second Banks, the tariff of abominations, the Louisiana Purchase, the Treaty of Tripoli, etc, etc.
MY POINT IS that the violations that happened in the first 73 years under the Constitution ALL pale in comparison to the total destruction of the Constitution (along with the lives of more than 620,000 Americans) that Lincoln accomplished in less than 5 years. If I spent more writing space and time covering every possible incident, including Lincoln's very long list of violations, I would be unable to include them all in a single sentence and never be able to get to the purpose of my article. That is why I made a specific point of saying, in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE, ". . .since there is ample evidence of this published elsewhere, proof will not be offered in this essay". And for the same reason, I don't propose to supply that proof in this letter either. A reading of back issues of The Libertarian Enterprise will supply ample proof and numerous links to other sources.
The really strange thing about this opening paragraph of your criticism is that it contradicts the very last sentence in your letteras do the next three paragraphs.
> I consider that I might safely say, that at virtually NO
Is there a point in the above that you wanted to make regarding my article?
> I consider that you fool yourself, iffor even a moment,
I am bewildered that anything I wrote in my article leads you to think that I fool myself in this manner. If indeed I HAD fooled myself in that manner, there would be no reason for me to write the article and to invoke Jefferson's justification for the abolition of the current government!
> Why else are we showered daily with messages of patriotism
I shower daily, but these wet dream "messages" that YOU apparently receive are certainly not of MY doing.
> Reinforce the message. Pavlov's dogs.
I really do not understand this. Are you commanding ME to reinforce the message? Or perhaps claiming that I already do? And the reference to Pavlov's dogs is a complete mystery (yes, I do know who Pavlov was and what his dogs did, it is your reference to them that is obscure and disconnected).
> Jefferson's declaration was the absolute closest that we
I thought I made MY views about Jefferson's Declaration pretty clear to anyone who read the remainder of my article.
> After that? Everything went downhill, if only that the people
Again I am bewildered by your comment. I thought my entire article was an "outside the box" approachespecially if the Constitution is considered to be "the box". How would YOU write it? And why did you not do so?
> The oppressed seek to be less so, but they
While I was living under the Constitution, I admit that I felt oppressed from time to time, which would make me part of "the oppressed" that you mention. It does not follow that *I* "still seek to be oppressed" because if true, I wouldn't have bothered to write what I did. My article presents an alternative to the Constitution. The Constitution is certainly NOT "the only game in town".
> Representative government is in essence rule of the minority
Wonderful! We agree on something! But you would know that if you had read my whole article.
> Anything else is dancing with the whore of oppression.
I am speechless in the presence of such profane profundity (or is that profound profanity?) . . ..
> Any manor woman, who pretends to announce that they know
. . .and my head hurts from trying to relate this and the previous paragraph to my article. . ..
> Ergo, virtually any constitutionsave one, is nothing less
Ah. Finally! A statement that is relative to the main point in my article. Does this mean that you agree or disagree with what I proposed?
> The only constitution worthy of consideration is the one which says:
I stated in my article that this is a moral principle and that the Covenant is a form of Self-Government that rests on that moral principle. The Covenant spells out the moral principle in political terms. And I think the Covenant nicely fulfills Jefferson's promise of individual freedom found in The Declaration.
I do not understand how or why you take exception to the points that you choose to criticize, and I especially to not understand what you might consider a better way to accomplish what I propose or even what you are offering as an alternative, because you did not address that portion of my article.
If (and I speculate, because you are not explicit) you intend for a moral statement to replace the U.S. Constitution (which is a political statement), I look forward to reading an essay by you explaining your reasoning. What you don't appear to grasp is that there is a moral principle (which you state in the sentence above) contained in the Non Aggression Principle (NAP/ZAP) that serves as a moral foundation for the political statement, which is the Covenant of Unanimous Consent.
> In my book, the fewerand plainerthe words, the better.
This is an interesting statement, especially considering that your opening words criticized me for not including a repetition of early American history.
> Most sincerely,
Dennis, and Ken,
My reply to Dennis Wilson's reply to my reply:
>> To wit:
What's past is prologue.
> Furthermore, you don't appear to grasp that there is a moral
I could care less about whatever "Covenant of Unanimous Consent," as in the main, it too relies upon a degree of implied governance to be.
I make it a habit of not trusting anyoneperiod.
In fact, I could well arguequite successfully, that the so-called "Covenant of Unanimous Consent" is actually an imposition to placed upon each 'signer' where with a subsequent reevaluation/reinterpretationin the legalistic sense, it could well be made to mean something quite opposite to its intended meaning.
I would warn only of this: Men bury themselves with their own thoughts; but they are castrated, and carried away into bondage with their wordsmost especially those relegated to a parchment, upon which they have willingly spilled their own blood.
But otherwise? Nice conversation!
re: "World Trade Center: See It Again, For The First Time", by Jonathan David Morris
I don't know what reasons others have, but I do know that I will not go to see it in a theater, nor will I watch it on TV. I won't watch any movie about 9-11 unless it includes the fact that the gov't was responsible +/or covered it up. If the movie does not contain that aspect, then it operates almost in collusion with that cover-up, even if it purports to be non-political.
Yes, those who died that day (& their families) have my sympathy. Yes, there were heroic efforts that day. But those efforts are overshadowed by the betrayal of the American peopleincluding their victims who died that day. I don't want to feel undirected (or misdirected) anger. Nor do I wish to in any way assist in perpetuating the 9-11 myths that the government would like us to believe. When I feel whatever emotions are applicable, I want it to be general knowledge as to who was actually responsible for the planning, the execution & the cover-up. I want the anger to be directed at the appropriate parties. I will wait for movies that contain that information.
I thought this article, which I found through the LinuxToday.com, might be of interest to our readers.
"Towards a free matter economypart 7"
"A free future in space"
"This frontier-libertarian vision is at odds with corporate proprietary intellectual property culture. Settlers will be assuming their own risks, but in order to do so, they need total disclosure on the equipment they will be usingand that can only happen in an environment dominated by open standards and free-licensed, open-source hardware (and software)."
Dear editor, dear Mr. Smith,
as much as I usually enjoy reading TLE & specifically Mr. Smith's contributions, this time I'm rather disappointed.
First Mr. Smith recommends such a crappy website like infowars (at least with the qualification "You may not agree with everything...", but yet). Later on he writes "Remember that lies kill."
Well, I would ask Mr. Smith to review that website again. It seemingly is just a propaganda page for conspiracy theorists, distorting pretty much everything that doesn't really fit their cause to make it look like it fits.
One blatant lie is the thingy about the Louvre pyramid which allegedly conveys some illuminaty message by consisting of 666 panes. I have informed the webmaster of infowars years ago that this isn't the case, because there aren't 666 panes, yet this "info" can still be found on that site. Only a small lie probably, but one easy to expose (people just need to [be able to] count).
I don't say that everything on that site is wrong or similarly poorly researched, but in my eyes it doesn't make infowars a very reliable source of information. Rather it looks like they bend (or break) the truth to convey their ideas.
Sorry if this turned into an anti-infowars rant, but I expected much better than such recommendation by Mr. Smith.
Anyway, keep up the good work on TLE. Thanks for bringing this to us readers every week!
Reply from L. Neil Smith
My dear Editor:
I don't necessarily disagree with anything reader "bossel" said, and I'm sorry that he (or she) is disappointed by my having provided a link to a website of which he disapproves. But for a lot of reasons I'm not going to go into now, I have been suspicious about the events of September 11, 2001, since the moment I saw the towers fall, and I'm going to pass along information about that subject any time it comes to my attention, on the principleif no otherthan that a broken clock is still right twice a day.
And "bossel" should consider that, while his complaining to the website in question had no effect, he himself acknowledges that "I don't say that everything on that site is wrong or similarly poorly researched". Maybe positive reinforcement, sending people there to look at material that may be correct, will work better.
Then again maybe it won't. That wasn't the point.
In the meantime, "bossel" has a small epistemological problem of his own to deal with, revealed in his phrase, "just a propaganda page for conspiracy theorists". There are, in fact, many history-altering conspiracies that nobody even argues about any more. The struggle for American independence began as a conspiracy. So did the Federal Reserve and the income tax. World War I began with a conspiracy to assassinate the Archduke Ferdinand, and World War II began (for the US, anyway) with several conspiracies, among them the highly illegal Operation Intrepid and the FDR Administration's successful effort to egg Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor.
I could go on with many more examples, but it should be clear that conspiracies happen, and they do have an effect on history. So it isn't a fruitful tactic to dismiss people and ideas simply because they are involved with conspiracy theories. You have to look deeper than that. Sure, it's hard work, but it's necessary, and it's worth it.
L. Neil Smith
Re: "We Have Met the Enemy in the War On Terror. . . and He Is Us", by Doug Newman
Doug Newman wrote, "When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. When you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz." There is truth in it.
Let me point out that, from what we now know, it would be far more preferable to have a thousand events like Woodstock every week than to have a thousand places like Auschwitz every year. While people left to their own devices do a lot of weird stuff, they are not as evil, pernicious, thieving, murdering, torturing, or hateful as governments left to unlimited power.
Indeed, from the Woodstock events (and similar music festivals) people have learned how to put on fun outdoor music events. When I was in college, I went to one in Central Park. Simon and Garfunkel were there. Paul Simon said of that event that, as a free concert, the only people making any money were the guys selling loose joints.
I feel fairly confident that Mr. Newman, faced with the same choice, would choose a thousand more of Woodstock.
Reply from Doug Newman
Thanks, for writing. Exactly my point.