L. Neil Smith's
Number 198, November 11, 2002


[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from R. P. Cooper

Letter from Susan W. Wells

Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Brian Gross

Letter from Tom Johnson

Letter from Derek Benner

2nd Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Angela Harms

Letter from Joseph Crowe

Letter from Bill St. Clair

"Now, what are you prepared to do?" Patrick K Martin concludes his piece WHY I WILL NOT VOTE!. While I am wholly sympathetic with Mr. Martin's sentiments, I respond so: I am ready to stand - lawfully and peacefully armed - on the steps of the Supreme Court whenever Wayne LaPierre is. Until then, I'm voting Libertarian and hoping they get the message before it's too late.

R. P. Cooper [cooperrp@aol.com]

Patrick Martin writes:

I will not participate in the jury system, I will go when summoned, I will sit if empaneled, but I will not vote for a verdict, any verdict. The purpose of a juror is to protect one's own rights by protecting the rights of one's fellow citizens, well the government no longer recognizes my rights, so I have nothing to protect. I will seek to avoid assisting the government in any way, and I will only submit to the minium extent necessary to prevent my arrest, and only when I cannot avoid compliance entirely.

You're making a big mistake. As a juror, you might have the power to say "no" to government by voting "not guilty" in a case involving violations of oppressive gun laws or oppressive drug laws in which the defendant had harmed no one. Yours would only be one vote, but you might have the opportunity to hang a jury. It might also be possible that you would be able to do what Edward Bushell did in London in 1670: you might be able to persuade the other eleven jurors to vote "not guilty" and thereby free someone who had harmed no one from our vicious criminal "justice" system.

Susan W. Wells [Swftl@aol.com]

Dear Editor,

With regard to Why I Will Not Vote! Patrick Martin is mistaken when he writes, "The constitution is a legal contract between the people of the United States and the central government which our forebears established to secure their mutual interests, and those of us, their decedents." To the contrary, it does not even pretend to be such a contract.

At best, and we don't get best very often, the constitution may be a contract among the several states which are party to it. It was entered into by nine states through various acts of ratification, only after serious debate and considerable doubt. A promise to add to it a Bill of Rights helped secure ratification in some cases. After these nine states ratified, the other original colonies did, as well, though only after considerable coercion. (For example, Rhode Island joined only after the US Senate voted to embargo all trade with that state in 1790.)

I invite you to look up the word "decedent" and choose whether it really applies to you. It means "the deceased." I don't think the constitution secures the interests of the deceased, any more than it secures the interests of the free and living.

Since I did not sign the constitution, it is not a contract with me. Patrick Henry pointed out that the passage "We the People" was inherently fraudulent. Lysander Spooner went further in his analysis of whether the constitution was a contract, and established in his "No Treason" essays that it was not.

Another brilliant constitutional scholar, Kenneth W. Royce, also known as "Boston T. Party" to his many readers, points out that the constitution was designed to create an unlimited government with total power. He gives details in his fabulous book Hologram of Liberty available from http://www.javelinpress.com/ and perhaps elsewhere.

By treaty and by other means, the constitution has been changed from its original language. But, as per Article 6, treaties, whether or not they are pursuant to the language of the constitution, are the supreme law of the land. Rough, because there are about a thousand treaties the USA is party to, and some of them are really bad. (Forbidding traffic in various drugs, guns, and space travel, for example.)

My conclusion is that the government cannot be reformed, because it is not failing in its design. Rather, the government is succeeding in the exact design for which men like Alexander Hamilton intended it. It is succeeding all too well, and your liberty is curtailed as a result. You cannot reform something that is working the way it was designed, but you can choose to abandon it, abolish it, ignore it, or destroy it.

It may be your duty to destroy a despotism which seeks to grind your freedom under the iron heel of tyranny. It is certainly true that you should be free to do so, and would be right to do so.

You are right in thinking that your vote is being used to excuse all manner of abuse. Voting is inherently a bad idea. It is an immoral way to force decisions down the throats of those who won't vote and those whose votes add up to fewer. It is a bad way of making choices, since voting rarely brings up the most sensible views or talents. Counting noses tells us who has more meat on his side, but numbers don't often even settle the outcome of battle, much less whether a scientific or technical view is to be preferred. It is a poor way to express yourself, since your vote may not be counted in the numerous rigged national and state-wide elections.

So, please don't vote.

As for participation as a juror, go if you feel that's wise. If you neither register to vote nor sign up for a "license" to drive your own property about (you only need a license to engage in traffic - moving cargo or passengers for hire - according to the laws in your state) you won't get called to be a juror, but as you probably remain on the voter rolls for a while, and you may have mistakenly obtained a driver license, you are likely to get called for a while. If you tell the judge and attorneys in "voir dire" (which L. Neil translates as "jury tampering") what you think of the system, or say, "As a juror, I reserve the right to judge both facts and law, in accord with the thousand year tradition of free men serving on juries" you can be sure that you'll be dismissed from serving.

Now, finally, let me come to: "The legitimate authority of the United States government is gone." That's true. It's true because the United States government never had any legitimate authority. It was designed as an oligarchy to provide for the gain of unlimited power, and it has fulfilled that design. Thus, it is mere despotism, and resistance to its tyrants is obedience to God.

There is no need for external government. Free men rule themselves. The proper form of government for a free person is autarchy. Self- government is the rule of the individual sovereign over himself alone.

The only thing left to do is free yourself. I am already free, so don't go worrying about me. The American people may yet be freed, or not. But you cannot free them on your own.

You can, and you should, free yourself. You can live free. Each individual can do likewise, and if they all do, then the Americans will be free.

Robert Heinlein made a vital point. A free man cannot be enslaved. He can only be killed. Once he knows that he is free, once he understands that submission is not obligatory, once he determines that freedom is preferable to life in chains, then he cannot be enslaved. He may die, but he'll die on his feet, never on his knees.

Free yourself now. It is an urgent matter. You are on the right track in thinking that your votes, even as a juror, aren't going to help. Free yourself, so you can stand and fight on your feet.

If you wait, as many have sworn to do, until they come for your guns, I fear you will find that you have waited too long. At that point, you may still fight, but only so that you may die as a man on your feet rather than as a slave on your knees. For at that stage, it will be too late to fight so that you may live free.


Jim Davidson [Jim@GoldBarter.com]

Patrick K Martin stated why he would not vote. I would like to state why I did vote and why Mr. Martin was wrong to not vote. Mr. Martin said "The constitution is a legal contract between the people of the United States and the central government which our forebears established to secure their mutual interests, and those of us, their decedents. To insure that later generations would have a voice in the government they formed, the founders provided for free and unfettered elections of a democratic type." The founding fathers were counting on everyone voicing their opinion and participating by voting. We are in the mess we are in because the majority of people don't participate in voting. The liberals have registered people to vote that agreed with their agenda then delivered them to the polls, in effect stuffing the ballot boxes. When people like Mr. Martin drop out, that is one less vote the opponents have to cancel out. Mr. Martin voted. He didn't go the polls, but he made it two votes easier for the opponents to win. One vote to cancel his vote and one to win. One thing the 2000 elections taught us is that a few votes does make a difference.

Mr. Martin speaks of not giving up his right to voice his opinion. That is exactly what he did. He didn't participate in government and didn't voice his opinion through his vote. Mr. Martin is a quitter. He doesn't deserve the right to vote. He certainly has no right to complain about the results. When a minority of people elect our government it doesn't reflect the majority. There is only one way to fix that problem. Make every vote count. We know we can't count on Mr. Martin.

To answer Mr. Martin's final question ("Now, what are you prepared to do?") I am prepared to vote and vote and vote until we get it right.

Brian Gross [Jubilee131@juno.com]

re: Patrick Martin's essay 'Why I will Not Vote'

This part makes my teath itch:

I will not participate in the jury system, I will go when summoned, I will sit if empaneled, but I will not vote for a verdict, any verdict. The purpose of a juror is to protect one's own rights by protecting the rights of one's fellow citizens, well the government no longer recognizes my rights, so I have nothing to protect. I will seek to avoid assisting the government in any way ...]

Wouldn't it be more productive freedomwise to sit on said jury and go for aquittal right off the bat in any "State vs So and So" trial? I'm thinking property forfeture, drug, tax cases, gun law violations, zoning etc.

I'd love to get on a jury to do just that (which is probably why I'd never be allowed to sit on one)

Tom Johnson [tom@tomzilla.com]

Dear Editor,

From the letter received at TLE regarding my article, I obviously failed to make certain points clear.

This writer needs to take a good look at himself in the mirror...all 520+ pounds...

I do. Every single day. It ain't a pretty sight. That, of course, is one reason why I paid, out of my own pocket, while I was still slim enough to hold a job, for over two years of psychotherapy and counseling to help me overcome the inner problems that were causing me to sabotage my diet efforts. (Please note, I said '...paid, out of my own pocket, while I was slim enough to hold a job.')

A humble plea for private charity is all well and good, seeing how the writer "does not wish to rely on coerced funds."

I wonder what category of funds he thinks all the unemployment and social stipends he has already consumed fall under?

Call me crazy, but if the government withholds Unemployment Insurance from my paycheck, then, claiming Unemployment benefits is merely getting back the value of the UI that I and my employer already paid for. Same is true for State Disability Insurance. If it comes out of my paycheck, then I, and I assume my employer, have already paid for this insurance so it's my right to make claims against it. Or is Mr. Potter suggesting that if my employer had forced me to pay insurance payments for health insurance, I would not be Libertarian if I made a medical claim against the policy since the money had been coerced from me? (I could buy it if the insurance were paid for by everybody but me, but that is not the case in California.) As for social stipends... What social stipends?!? I have never drawn welfare, food stamps, GA, or Social Security benefits. (Although, if I cannot find something to cover my upcoming tests and medical expenses, I may have to fall back upon SSI and Medical to help with the bills. I did make a promise to my mother that if this didn't work, I would take the government aid route. (Yes, mothers can be persuasive!)

How did this man survive close to 50 years with his sleep disorder, not to mention his weight disorder, without fancy, expensive, officially approved medical testing and treatments?

According to my doctor, who I pay cash for each visit and each test and each prescription, I have been extraordinarily lucky to have not had a stroke or fatal heart attack! Who gives me the cash? Well, for the most part, it came out of my paychecks, while I was able to work, and it came out of my unemployment and SDI while the benefits lasted. The last two visits have been graciously paid for by my mother, who is 64 years old and is the only close relative I have left. We have decided that, since she still has a job and a house (for which she pays a $1,000 house payment each month), we will live together while I fight to get back in control of my life. And yes, even having put away money from my benefits to cover the next six months of my share of household expenses, I forgot to take into account the price of medication and have had to rely upon her to meet this cost. (Charity, it seems, begins at home.)

My sense of liberty and justice is offended at this author's assumption of the libertarian mantel to disguise the parasitic nature of his existence.

What parasitic nature? So far, the closest I have come is moving in with my mother during this crisis. From what I have read, many other 30-40 year old men have done so for far less of a reason than mine. And, I have done as much as I can, given the way the jobs dried up, to build up a nest egg for her to draw upon to meet my share of living expenses, Funny, doesn't sound so parasitic to me. And, I have yet to avail myself of welfare, foodstamps, social security, ssi and all the rest. So where's the disguise?

May I also point out that staple Atkins program foods such as eggs, meat, and salad are certainly no more expensive than fancy sweets and starches and/or beers and liquors.

May I point out that you have not looked at calorie charts lately? May I also point out that if you don't want to be called out at dawn, you'd better damned well take back that implication that I drink! I was never much of a drinker before I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, November, 1991, and I have not had any alcohol since. Furthermore, $0.99 at a Jack-in-the-Box nets me 450 calories of greasy fries, while to get the same in beef or chicken that I steam or bake myself will usually run to over $3. And, if one really reads Atkins, one knows that the last thing one wants is to over carb. Thus a preponderance of fresh veggies, meat, eggs and dairy while skipping the potatoes, rice, noodles and sugar. Healthy Choice is low-calorie but it's loaded with starch and sugar.

To the author, I would say, "Keep off the carbs and the welfare, pal, and get your duff off the couch and get to work. Things may, or may not, get better, but at least you can become a slimmer and more honest libertarian."

To the pencil-neck, I would say, "Walk a mile in my mocassins before you judge!"

"One thing is certain. When your number is up, you will pass on, fancy treatments and doctors notwithstanding."

So I should just accept my weight and live a life of pain, suffering, depression, and limited mobility, because we're all going to die anyway? Forget about me! I've decided to make my website about you! You obviously need an intervention to get a positive attitude!

"Quit worrying. Get a life. You might live longer."

In the spirit of charity,

If this were really charity, then I'd be better off without! Thanx. But keep your poisoned pen and poisoned mind to yourself.

Derek Benner [dabenner@attbi.com]

Dear Editor,

With regard to [ Searching the Land for a Pro-Gun-Rights Judge] Vin makes the point that, "The Chairez for state Supreme Court campaign can accept contributions of up to $10,000 per person or PAC, at: Chairez for Supreme Court, 3450 East Russell Road, Las Vegas, NV 89120 -- yes, even if they arrive after the election."

Here's another interesting point in that regard - you can pay your ten thousand dollars in silver dollar coins, or in gold coins. In these cases, it is the face value of the coins which determine how much you have contributed to the candidate.

So, if you wanted to contribute ten thousand dollars to Mr. Chairez, you could go get ten thousand Federal Reserve Note dollars, put them in a bank account, and write him a check. Or you could get ten thousand one-dollar coins, such as the American Silver Eagle minted by the US Mint, and send those to his campaign office.

You see, because gold and silver coins are exported by the US Mint, and because the coins are exempt from foreign import duty if they are legal tender, Congress acted in 1985 to make the coins of the US Mint legal tender at their face values. The US Mint issues an American Silver Eagle which has one ounce troy of .9 fine silver with a face value of one dollar. It is legal tender at that face value!

Now, nobody would spend one of these at a cash register for a dollar, of course. You have to pay for the silver metal that is in the coin, plus the cost of the coin being designed and stamped, plus some contribution to the US Mint's budget (which would be profit in the private sector...). All told, you may pay $7.50 or more for an American Silver Eagle, depending on the market price of silver and some other factors, such as its numismatic value.

Thus, if you really support a candidate, and some law at state or federal level limits the amount you are "allowed" to express your support, you can obey that law - with silver. Using silver, you can express about seven times your support compared to how much you can express with a check drawn on a bank account holding Federal Reserve Notes.

With the American Gold Eagle, also from the US Mint, you have a coin with a $50 face value. Two hundred of these would be a contribution of $10,000 - based on the legal tender law and the face value of the coins. (Twenty would be a thousand dollars, which is another level often imposed on contributions.) At today's price of gold, the two hundred coins have a value on the market of $63,400 just for the ounce troy of gold metal content. Being coins, they trade at a premium to the spot price of gold, though. A popular retailer offers them at $334.96 each.

But, it gets better still when we go and find gold coins minted by the US Mints prior to 1933. You see, the 1792 Mint Act fixed the value of a dollar as one twentieth of an ounce troy of fine gold. That value was changed to one thirty-fifth of an ounce in 1933. But the old coins are still legal tender! So, a twenty dollar gold piece has about an ounce troy of .935 fine gold. Send 500 of them to your favorite candidate, and you have contributed "ten thousand dollars" as the dollar is properly defined.

But you have also provided value to that candidate at the current price of gold of $148,197.50 just for the gold content of those coins, plus a further premium for the numismatic value of the coins. Wow! Talk about maximizing your campaign contribution bang for the buck!

Now, a few caveats. I don't think voting does any good. I'm not convinced that candidates who gain the most votes in elections are put into office, as the experience of Tamara Clark in Clark County, Nevada in 1992 would seem to indicate. Moreover, I'm not sure putting better candidates into office is going to do much to guarantee our future liberty.

But, those who have financial resources sufficient to make a substantial campaign contribution may want to make the most of it. If you do, you should know that gold and silver coins are still legal tender, and you can multiply the effectiveness of your contribution by making it with gold or silver coins.

Where do you go to get such coins? Contact me by e-mail or visit http://cambist.net/


Jim Davidson [Jim@GoldBarter.com]

Susan Wells, in an apparent fit of commie-sympathy, had this suggestion:

Candidates from all parties would be allowed the same amount of free television and radio time. If the American people were to hear of a party that would leave them and their loved ones alone, I believe they'd vote for us in droves.

Who does she think will donate this "free" airtime? I don't own the television station I work for, and in fact, I couldn't, because that would require kissing the government's ass. But if I did, I sure as hell wouldn't give away my valuable product to politicians!

Angela Harms [aharms@oip.net]

Those people who insist that putting none of the above on ballots miss the point. In order to have a real choice, two more choices must appear on all ballots.....1) abolish this office forever and 2) abolish this government forever. Until those choices appear on ballots in the U.S.A., people will continue to go on voting, and congratulating themselves that they have done their civic duty in an environment that offers no more choice than the elections in Iraq.


Joseph Crowe [jcrowe@jcrowe.net]

In a discussion on the SCOPE New York mailing list, someone mentioned how Conservation Officers were in the habit of searching cars for deer. As usual, when someone talks about a blatant violation of the fourth amendment, I chimed in. After a bit of back and forth, and after being accused of blindly accepting Neil's Atlanta Declaration about our right to keep and bear arms, I produced the following rant:

I have not blindly accepted Mr. Smith's ideas. It took me a couple of years of reading and thinking to come to the place where I realize that his extreme view is the only thing with a chance of working.

There are no political solutions to any problem. Political solutions are compromises. Everybody loses. Any philosophy that allows any group of people, no matter how large, to dictate to another group of people, no matter how small, how they will live their lives, cannot work. Unanimous consent is the only thing that works. That's why I'm a firm believer in the free market. That's why I am a firm believer in the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP): "No human being has the right -- under any circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation." Any five year-old can tell you it's right. The ramifications are revolutionary.

That's why Neil's statement of the true meaning of the second amendment is correct. In order to deny that right, you have to initiate force. That's also why there can be no taxation. In order to collect it, you have to initiate force. That's why warrants are required for searches. In order to get one, you have to prove it likely that force has already been initiated and that stolen goods may be found in the searched location. And you should expect the owner to remain armed while the search is conducted. That's why there can be no victimless crime laws. No drug laws, no sex laws, no gambling laws. Nothing done by consenting adults that does not directly harm children or non-consenting adults, or their property, may be regulated in any way. (And I'm undecided on the need to distinguish children from adults in that sentence. The problem of exactly how and when to fully include children in society is a hard one. One part is easy, however. It is only loosely correlated with chronological age.)

How long do you think it will take me to establish this one simple principle, the ZAP, by political means? It ain't gonna happen. There are too many people addicted to living off of the fruits of other people's labor. There are too many people who think it's their business to enforce what they believe God has mandated in one or the other of His Holy Books. It is an educational endeavor. When enough people have realized the truth, the old regime will collapse under its own weight. God has created us with absolute free will. As I tell my son, no one can force you to do anything except fall down. The Wiccans got it right, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." The ZAP simply makes this work in a world populated by many wills.

The only purpose of government, if it indeed has any purpose, is to protect individual liberty. The opening of the Declaration of Independence says it pretty well, as long as you remember that "pursuit of happiness" means "property".

Enough rambling for one night.


Bill St. Clair [bill@billstclair.com]


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