L. Neil Smith's
Number 67, March 15, 2000
Ides of March Special

Letters To The Editor

by Our Readers
Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org

Letter from Michael Coughlin

Letter from Sean

Letter from Govco@aol.com

Letter from State Senator Gloria T. Tanner & Scott Graves

Letter from Dave Jiles

Letter from Steve Reed

Letter from Michael Coughlin

Here are some more statistics. I cannot cite a source, but it is probably accurate.

Number of physicians in the U.S..............................700,000

Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year..............120,000

Accidental deaths per physician................................0.171

Number of gun owners in the U.S...........................80,000,000

Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups).....1,500

Accidental deaths per gun owner............................0.0000188

Therefore, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than guns when accidents are concerned. I think it is noteworthy for the sake of integrity to comment that the inverse is probably closer to true when concerned with intentional killings. But that is just speculation on my part.

Michael Coughlin <michael_coughlin@hotmail.com>

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Letter from Sean

Hello Mr. Taylor,

I recently read a letter in your 'letters to the editors' section that caught my attention. It was by a young man who was telling a story about his experience's with the 'selective service'. I would like to say that I am eighteen years old, almost ninteen and have never had the misfortuane of being contancted by them. I would like to state that if they send me a letter ordering or asking (what's the differenece when it come's to the 'government') me to sign up, I will refuse. I am quit serious about this and I understand the consequences, but I don't really care anymore.

The 'government' completely controls and regulates everything in society, with the possible exception of the internent. There seems to be no way to get away from them, so I am not going to attempt to. So let it be written, if ANY 'government' agent comes onto my property and orders me to do ANYTHING I am going to blow their m-----f---ing head off. Just thought I'd let you know, by the way, if everybody that read this, would blow a couple of 'government' agents heads off, well, I think there might be a few less of em.

Sean <auto24670@hushmail.com>

By the way I enjoy the TLE, and keep doing a good job. Further if you want to put this letter in the 'letters to the editors section' go ahead. And if you want to give it to the FBI, to show that TLE is a law-abiding orginization, you can do that too. (About that last part, I don't mean to offend you by that, just trying to state where my mind set is right now.)

[Note to Sean, et al: I did run this letter as received ... well, with one (admittedly prudish) editorial modification. I did not give it to the FBI. This is why I don't 'edit' contributions more heavily. - ed.]

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Letter from Govco@aol.com

Supreme Court judge Kennedy in the case of US v. Roy Lee Johnson No. 98-1696

There can be little question about the meaning of the word "release" in the context of imprisonment. It means "[t]o loosen or destroy the force of; to remove the obligation or effect of; hence to alleviate or remove; … [t]o let loose again; to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude; to set at liberty; to let go." Webster's New International Dictionary 2103 (2d ed. 1949). As these definitions illustrate, the ordinary, commonsense meaning of release is to be freed from confinement. To say respondent was released while still imprisoned diminishes the concept the word intends to convey.

The first sentence of §3624(e) supports our construction. A term of supervised release comes "after imprisonment," once the prisoner is "released by the Bureau of Prisons to the supervision of a probation officer." Supervised release does not run while an individual remains in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. The phrase "on the day the person is released," in the second sentence of §3624(e), suggests a strict temporal interpretation, not some fictitious or constructive earlier time. The statute does not say "on the day the person is released or on the earlier day when he should have been released." Indeed, the third sentence admonishes that "supervised release does not run during any period in which the person is imprisoned."

The statute's direction is clear and precise. Release takes place on the day the prisoner in fact is freed from confinement.

-- http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/98-1696.ZO.html

Imagine if the court were to use the same reasoning in a fourth amendment case. Perhaps the checkpoint case, Indianapolis v. Edmond.

There can be little question about the meaning of the word "no" in the context of the fourth amendment. It means "not in any degree or manner; not at all; not any." As these definitions illustrate, the ordinary, commonsense meaning of no is a prohibition. To say an individual is secure against unreasonable seizure, while being detained without a warrant, diminishes the concept the words intend to convey.

The first part of the fourth amendment supports our construction. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." The phrase "no Warrant shall issue," the second part of the amendment, suggests a strict temporal interpretation, not some fictitious or constructive double entendre. The amendment does not say "some Warrants shall issue." Indeed, the third part admonishes that warrants will only issue when supported by oath "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The amendment's direction is clear and precise. Police may not infringe upon the rights of the people without a warrant.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is upheld.

- - -

And just for the sake of argument, Vin is DEAD WRONG in his February 24 article on police roadblocks.

Vin: "The Fourth Amendment supposedly restricts searches to cases where authorities have 'probable cause' to suspect a specific crime"

No Vin, the fourth amendment doesn't "supposedly" restrict searches. Johnny Law can search and seize all he wants. As long as he can get a judge to sign a warrant particularly describing the object(s) of the investigation. The only time "probable cause" enters the equation is when the cop has to persuade the judge to sign the warrant. The JUDGE must be convinced there is a high probability that violating the individual's right to be secure will yield evidence of a crime.

After the judge takes into consideration the fact the officer is willing to take an oath or sign an affidavit (under penalty of perjury), His Honor places the restrictions on the search.

The fourth amendment restricts the issuance of warrants authorizing search or seizure to those cases where the judge has probable cause to suspect a specific crime.

The government's ability to protect the citizenry through law enforcement is not impeded by the amendment. Anything can be searched and any person or thing may be seized. Which is pretty much the way things are today. The fourth simply prohibits judges from carrying firearms for anything *other* than personal protection, and protects the police from the retaliatory use of force.

P.S. The Johnson case is nothing to get excited about. Mr. Johnson was convicted of two counts of possession with an intent to distribute vegetable matter, two counts of use of a firearm in connection with vegetable trafficking, and on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. When two of his convictions were declared invalid, "he had served too much prison time and was at once set free, but a term of supervised release was yet to be served on the remaining convictions."

Johnson tried to have the 2.5 YEARS of extra prison time applied to his 3 years of supervised release. The supremes said no way.

When it comes to gun-totin', vegetable sellin' Americans who have been jailed in excess of their sentences, words *do* have meaning.


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Letter from State Senator Gloria T. Tanner & Scott Graves

I got this in response to a rather venomous letter I sent to her healthnaziness. This should give you an idea how these fascists work.

- - -

February 23, 2000

Dear Editor:

With regard to the obesity bill, Senate Bill 34, many people are under the impression that the Obesity Prevention Act mandates the state to fund treatment of obesity. The Obesity Prevention Act helps educate the public to the seriousness of obesity as a disease and epidemic, and the high cost to taxpayers for treatment of the disease caused by obesity. It creates a collaborative relationship between UCHSC Center for Human Nutrition, a world leader in the prevention and treatment of obesity and the Department of Public Health and Environment. They would determine the effectiveness of existing methods, find innovative alternatives and study the fiscal impact of treating and preventing obesity and the reduction in serious medical problems associated with diabetes with prevention or treatment. Again, let me stress, no state funds will be used to carry this out.

The State of Colorado has always been a leader. This bill allows that tradition to continue by acknowledging that obesity is a serious disease in our state and that action needs to be taken now.

Currently the federal government, recognizing the importance of an aggressive public health campaign, is allocating monies to states that are on the forefront of this epidemic. If Senate Bill 34 had passed, Colorado would have been in a better position to receive federal funding.

The citizens of Colorado, however, inadvertently pay for obesity through the Medicaid system. There is solid, scientific evidence that individuals with a medical definition of obesity are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance. Eighty percent of all type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity. Alarmingly, type 2 diabetes, once diagnosed only in adults, is now on the rise in our children.

Let’s not hide behind the argument that this legislation would punish obese people. Similar to the tobacco and smoking issue, this bill would not take away our freedom to choose or tax companies who sell high caloric foods. We want to inform Coloradans that obesity is a major threat to our health and quality of lives and help them with tools to make their lives better and the lives of future generations better.

State Senator Gloria T. Tanner

- - -

[Here's Scott's original letter - ed.]

Ms. Tanner, let me be the first, in I what I assure you will be along list of people, to heap derision and messages filled with hate upon your pointy head. Your bill, SB00-034 is quite possibly the most stupid and pointless bit of health nazi crap pilled upon an already overflowing dung heap of legislation that you and your cohorts have spewed forth from your ever full cesspool like minds.

I assure you, that as a happily overweight Colorado Resident, you can pry my cheeseburger from my cold dead fingers. Also I assure you that if this insanity passes into law by some freak of nature, I will work to see your pimpled butt removed from its well worn seat and you replaced with someone who understands the idea of individual liberty.

The almost humorous element to this, Rush Limbaugh jokingly predicted such legislation many months ago, I guess you liberals really are that predictable. If an idea is stupid, ill-advised, pointless, tyrannical or just plain evil, trust some panty waste liberal to turn it into a law.

You and your kind truly disgust me. Not content with only controlling your own life, you feel the need to control everyone else's as well. Such desires should be repressed, much like your desires to molest children and other socially unacceptable actions.

Scott Graves
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Scott Graves <lockman2@uswest.net>

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Letter from Dave Jiles


I'm not sure when it actually clicked, I'd been reading a lot of material from TLE on the Internet, and had become very interested in the current battles over the new "common sense gun laws" being proposed. I've always been kind of a "live and let live" type, believing that how I felt about other peoples looks or behavior was my opinion only and that it had no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the world.

I was rather timid about expressing my views on public policy issues, content to let the world spin out of control if it wanted. I was what you may call a "Nerf Libertarian" for many years, basically believing in most of the L.P. views, but not quite ready to give up Government control of things to that extent.

I had stopped at the local "Quickie Mart" for a cup of coffee while traveling between work assignments. My nearly full cup sat in the cup-holder at the edge of the dashboard as I exited the parking area of the strip-mall. I drove slowly over two very large speed bumps causing about 1/3 of my newly purchased coffee to slosh all over the dash. If these blemishes in the street had been nature caused, it would have justified a multi-million dollar street repair contract to the city managers brother-in-law, but they were there on purpose.

They were there to protect us from idiots that don't know enough to drive at a reasonable speed around pedestrians, without something to get their attention. The problem is, it also affects the millions of us that do drive prudently. So I'm thinking , I've got coffee all over the interior of my truck, because a few boneheads can't drive, and it really pisses me off. My God, I must be a Libertarian!

Forgive me Father Neil, for I have sinned. As recently as three weeks prior, I had been thinking in favor of at least some of the afore-mentioned "common sense gun laws". After all, how could we gun owners oppose something like "safe storage"? But then I thought, I dont oppose safe storage, I oppose big brother defining it.

I have three kids, all at or near adulthood. They were raised in a home with several firearms, no accidents, no school massacres, nothing. I also didn't let them play with our cars, power tools, farm equipment, or any other object until they were old enough and informed enough to handle them responsibly. The point is, we raised our kids, we didn't let them grow like noxious weeds and expect them to someday magically become mature, responsible, thinking adults. And it didn't require the Government "Village" to do it.

Recently I joined forces with Rocky Mtn. Gun Owners, and Gun Owners of America. I have officially changed my voter registration to Libertarian. I will no longer support any politician that proposes, supports, or even tolerates any form of government "nanyism". I don't want the Government to provide my health care, I just want them out of my pocket so I can afford to provide it myself. The drug war is a waste of time and money, and the Government is doing a piss poor job of protecting us from the criminal element, we need to do it ourselves. I will consider our "public servants" just that, servants and employees that are there to do a specific job, no more, no less. They can be sacked.

I have made a new years resolution that each month I will write at least one letter to the editor, soapbox commentary, or raise hell with one politician via mail or e-mail. So far I'm having so much fun at it, this may be one resolution I not only keep but surpass. The world of twedle dee and twedle dumb, has lost another soul, I'm no longer a Republican or a Democrat, working for the status quo, and I will oppose them, and cause them grief and embarrassment at every opportunity.

I will be a constant reminder that they are not in charge, we are. I will not tolerate some twit like Diana DeGette, telling me I'm too irresponsible and incompetent to own and carry firearms thirty years after the same Mafia she represents dropped me in Southeast Asia with a fully automatic "assault rifle" at the ripe old age of 19. I believe it is time to not only stop supporting politicians that violate their oath of office, but calling for their prosecution and removal.

So, where do I go to sign up? Get me a uniform and send me on a mission, I'm ready.

Dave Jiles
PO Box 105
Drake CO 80515

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Letter from Steve Reed

The 29 February issue of "TLE" was indeed one of the few occasions to, er, Leap (this) Year out of pleasure, with El Neil returning to its virtual pages.

I had found myself swept up in the fervor about LNS running for president -- note that I didn't say "getting a bunch of his friends to persuade him," but "running," which misapprehension grew despite his efforts -- for about five days last Summer.

After which, I got het up about people who were dumping publicly viewable obscenities into the on-line petition. Neil himself was kind enough to personally calm me down about my Net-expressed angst on this topic. After his e-mails, however, I lost the fever quite quickly, and came to the conclusion that made sense:

It would be better to have Neil getting more prose into print, and confounding categories with such disturbances of the peace as "The Mitzvah," than to take any of this politicking seriously. Besides, if any LP entity had ever managed a million signatures, we'd have devolved the U.S. military into local militias by now. So the petition prognosis, cleaned up or not, was poor.

I'm pleased to see that Neil has gotten back to writing. Yet I also was thrown for a loop, or mildly puzzled, by a few items in his opus on that very topic.

* I just placed my order for "Forge of the Elders." Why hasn't any publicity from Baen been in view that talks about the -suppression- of the original Part 3? Is it that attitude lawyers extend to killer sharks, professional courtesy? (In this case, toward the earlier publisher?)

* Is "The American Zone" set in the Solar Confederacy? Does poor Clarissa Olson-Bear finally get some help with Koman's Mitochondriasis?

* We've adored Neil on line in his red (definitely not Red) shirt, but what about getting to see HIS TALENTED DAUGHTER in her SEQUINS?

* Neil alluded to "Captain Bringdown (who also knows who he is) -- a middle-aged adolescent who made one Great Leap in his lifetime," etc. I am hopelessly out of date with LP gossip mongering -- settling a parental estate and moving will do that to you -- and thus have no idea who he's talking about. Enlightenment is warmly welcomed.

* Similarly, quoth LNS, "they're ready to switch to a dweeb who wants the party to stop talking about ending the War on Drugs." Who is that? I did manage to catch the LP prez hopefuls' debate at the California convention, on C-SPAN -- 2 a.m., natch -- and didn't get any such vibrations. Not that it hasn't been discussed! (And vigorously dismissed, within my earshot.)

* If Neil has "a cheap, simple way to eliminate air pollution with infrastructure already in place, without taking anyone's property away," or knows "how to get ordinary people into space to stay," why is he going to tell US, instead of venture capitalists? And WHEN will he tell us?????

Any and all notes to these effects would be fervently appreciated. Either in e-mail or in LNS's published comments.

Vin's piece on the Second Amendment is the usual stellar compilation of hidden facts and incisive commentary, but I must proffer one historical correction.

Vin wrote of Hitler facing the dilemma of being able to "secretly arm either Rohm's SA or the Wehrmacht's SS, but not both" and, thus, purging the SA. The Schutzstaffel (Protective Echelon) began as Hitler's bodyguard, was turned into an "Aryan" eugenic-loyalist test-bed, and in both cases was part of the National Socialist party structure. Some of the Wehrmacht (Army) units were placed under the command of SS cadres, to make them more pliable in carrying out Hitler's delusions of military planning ability. But the genuine Army leadership was more than minimally resistant to Hitler's leadership, on many occasions before and during the war. It came close to deposing him at the time of the Munich Pact, but the West made a forced invasion unnecessary, and thus took the wind out of the Army's resistance.

A small thing, but a matter of my own study. I applaud Vin for showing such patience with a pissant gun-grabbing correspondent.

Steve Reed
Signer 31 on the Talk Neil Into It petition
= = = = = Free consultation! = = = = =
Steve Reed ... SteveReed@earthling.net
Piece of Sky Consulting
Fine Typography and Windows(R) Support

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