L. Neil Smith's
Number 243, October 19, 2003

"Walk Through the Fire"

[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 Bruce Sommer with reply by Lehr Duquesne

Letter from John Hoffman

Letter from Kent McManigal

Letter from Bruce Sommer

Re: Free State Decision Remorse, by Lehr Duquesne

I read your article in the latest issue of TLE and was wondering why you are now favoring Wyoming over Montana. My story is that I did opt out of New Hampshire but am now researching the possibility of whether it is right for me to opt back in. Real Estate prices are a big issue for me. My first choice was Montana also. In the beginning of all the FSP talk it was Wyoming — but that was before I knew anything about Montana. When I learned about Montana and Missoula in particular, Wyoming had dropped down to second on my list but then as I heard about its economy it dropped down lower. So, your insight on the merits of Wyoming over Montana would be very helpful to me at this point.

Bruce Sommer

Reply by Lehr Duquesne

I initially favored Montana because of its international border, which would give any threat of secession greater credibility. Also it is geographically larger than any of the other candidate states save Alaska (where I've lived and visited previously and is TOO bleeding cold), and therefore offers the greatest opportunity for real growth if we are successful. Furthermore, it has the largest population of any of the candidate states with only one delegate to the U.S. Congress. An influx of another 20k could push it into the two member column after the 2010 census and we might well elect another libertarian congressmember if we're not running against a statist incumbent.

I'm NOT ruling out New Hampshire, but I cannot help but observe the strong western division among freestaters as evidenced by the actual polling. I've taken a little heat for this article ("And when you hedge your bets, you help no one, not even yourself. If you don't commit to one thing, you have no real enthusiasm for either of your options. And we want people who are enthusiastic and will commit." — for example) Nevertheless, in light of the evident divisions, plus my (possibly erroneous) observation that nowhere near a majority of the membership actually voted (2388 out of 5236 equals roughly 46%), (see freestateproject.org/files/vote_results.xls) let alone selected New Hampshire, leads me to believe that there may be serious problems with the process as well as the actual commitment of the membership. I don't like being a cynic, but it's shown itself to be the safer course of action. If we can't get 2400 people to return their ballots out of a supposed list of five thousand members, when will we be able to get twenty thousand to move?

My cynical conclusion: We must aim for the possible. If we can get ten thousand to move to Wyoming, we'll have a better chance of accomplishing something than if we could somehow actually get twenty thousand to New Hampshire. And we'd likely do it sooner. I don't seriously expect to get anywhere near 10k (or even 5k) to the Big Island where I currently reside, but if we can't make Wyoming, then perhaps we should consider a tertiary fall-back position.

Of course it is right for you to opt back in to New Hampshire, just as I've never opted out. I freely discuss my reservations, and try to make plans for alternative options as well. Hedging one's bets is not moral cowardice (so I say to soothe myself), but simply prudence. It's why I put some of my savings in an interest bearing account (though it sometimes fails to stay abreast of inflation) and some of it in silver (though the price sometimes goes down). In financial terms it's called diversification, and is considered to be wise, thoughtful, and safe .

Lehr Duquesne

"Twistin' in the Wind"

Some of you folks have been noting the Democrats' systematic filibustering of Bush's judicial appointments to the bench. Most of you have had a nice laugh about it, called it a victory against Statism. I don't know how many of you have considered what it might bode for the future. While the Democrats may be able to prevent Bush from making permanent appointments to those positions, the Administration is allowed to make interim appointments, filling those positions at least until the Presidency changes parties again. At this point, those interim appointments will probably be voided and the new King will hire his own cronies. The Republicans will certainly retaliate against the past filibustering to likewise prevent the Democrats from making any permanent judicial appointments. In the end, either a cease-fire will be called and we will return to the status quo, or this lack of permanent appointees will become the new norm, and might be extended into the Supreme Court itself.

Should this happen, it would mean another blow to the stability of the Federal Government, roughly on par with the Senate being converted from State government appointees to popularly elected officials. The courts will swing between Socialist Party A and Socialist Party B and Hegel's "consensus" will be allowed to walk its way over to the social engineers' final goal much more rapidly.

John Hoffman

The Second Amendment Rewritten

Dear Mr. Proxy-Ed While sitting at work bored (having a slow week), I decide to write the Second Amendment in very clear language that almost no one could doubt the meaning or intent of. This is the result. It is exclusive to TLE with the exception of the nicely printed copies I have given out to my customers.

the Second Amendment
to the
Constitution of the united States
of America

(written more plainly for those who would "interpret" away our rights for the benefit of terrorists, foreign and Domestic)

Because a Very Effective, Armed, Population is Essential in order for America to stay Free and safe, the Absolute Right of Everyone to Own and to Carry any type of Weapon they choose, in any way they wish, anywhere they see fit, cannot be regulated, licensed, or even questioned in the smallest way!

I do not mind if anyone who wants to use this to further the cause of liberty, does so. Also, I am still going to be handing out copies to anyone who wants one at my store, located at 618 W. Tomichi, Gunnison Co 81230. At the moment, the shop's name is J & B Fish, but I will be changing it soon to Mountainman Pets. Thank you for publishing the highlight of my week.

Kent McManigal
Visit my personal Web Page:

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