Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 397, December 10, 2006

"What will you do when your government assumes unlimited power?"

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Hank Muchnic with a Reply from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Curt Howland

Letter from Vanessa Astrup of We The People Congress, Inc.

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Dear Mr. Smith,

Re: There's No Such Thing As "Goodminton", by L. Neil Smith

I enjoyed your recent essay entitled, "There's No Such Thing As Goodminton." However, your lucid analogy of how 'we the public' are batted back and forth by liberal versus conservative politicos, as though they were playing a badminton game, was somewhat spoiled by your frequent use of the word "birdie." "Shuttlecock" is the correct word for the object volleyed back and forth in a badminton game. "Birdie" is either an obscene gesture or, (similarly), some accomplishment in a game known as golf.

Hank Muchnic

Mr Smith Replies:

Dear Hank,

I stand (or in this case, sit) corrected. I actually knew what to call the object, having played badminton a little bit when I was very young. In any case, I will send your letter to our editor for publication in the next TLE, and try not to make that mistake again.

L. Neil Smith

Re: "Too Stupid To Take", by Elizabeth Harrison

Ms. Harrison,

No kidding! I also had a few teachers who were worth their weight in gold. One history, one math/earth science, and one that taught "shop".

All were ex-military, two combat marines from WW2 and one Vietnam vet who couldn't bend his right knee any more. All three had wicked senses of humor, and were the only teachers in the entire school who actually challenged their students. Of course, most students avoided their classes as much too hard. I made sure to take their classes whenever possible.

What it came down to for me, and the only reason I graduated, was that they let me take my last 4 credits in the nearest (40 miles away) community college. They are far, FAR more interesting than the highschool style, more focused and flexible. Your stated experience with the New Hampshire (I'm a member of the Free State Project myself) highschool instructors has already given you a feel for it.

You might consider offering the same deal to your, ah, "guidance" counselor.

Once you have some college courses under your belt and on your record, the highschool diploma loses much of its power to persuade. All the colleges really want to know is if you can do the work.

Since I'm home-schooling my daughter, I can tell you that the materials available in the pre-packaged courses will not challenge you any more than the Arkansas school is doing. The best thing about homeschooling the "upper" grades is getting into the college classes, especially if it's just one or two at a time rather than full-time enrollment, much sooner than you would be allowed to as a "normal" highschool student.

I look forward to reading more of your work, keep writing!

Curt Howland

Hello Everyone,

We the People Congress on Long Island with the approval of Headquarters is planning to inform people about the Right to Petition and the D.C. "V" rally in 2007 to the thousands of people shopping this holiday season in NYC. We would like it if we could all do this together.

Dates: Saturday and Sunday Dec. 16th & 17th

Time: Gather between 11:00 - 11:30 am (meeting location TBA) for you to obtain the signs, disperse to designated spots, and re-group at 5 pm to hand in signs.

Where: Flyer at Times Square, Rockefeller Center, in the Village, Staten Island ferry, near Fox News Room, etc.

What: In groups of 2-4 people, in our "V" costumes with hand signs and flyers, distribute flyers to inform people about the RTP, the D.C. "V" rally in 2007, and the We the People Foundation. We are looking for people to come dressed in their "V" costumes, if you do not have one that is OK too, we will pair you with someone who is wearing one.

Sign Up: Please RSVP by December 13th at

and let me know which days you will be available and whether or not you have a costume. I will send each of you an electronic copy of the flyer for you to print out. If you are coming from Long Island and plan on taking the train, please indicate that as well, if we get over 30 people we may be able to get a discount rate on the LIRR.

General Comments: Next week details of where we'll meet, possible places to get dressed and possible hotel rooms for those that want to participate both days and don't live near by will be e-mailed to everyone.

For the message we are delivering to be uniform, everyone will receive a talking sheet as to what to say about the mask and why we are here, etc. This way everyone gets the same message.

I spoke with Police Officer Paul Spano of Midtown South Community Affairs Division of the NYPD and they assured me there will be no problem for us to hand out information on the side walk in costume, it is our first amendment right. I am working on obtaining a letter from the NYPD stating just that so we don't have any problems.

Please dress appropriately under your "V" costume, the weather in NY has been in the mid to low 40s.

Lastly, if you are interested in acquiring a "V" costume, they are available on the web at


[and here]

May I also suggest E-bay.


Vanessa Astrup
We The People Congress, Inc.
2458 Ridge Road, Queensbury, New York 12804

An interview with L. Neil Smith:

L. Neil Smith

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