L. Neil Smith's
Number 260, February 22, 2004

Better late than never

[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 Carl W. Bussjaeger

Letter from Rex Curry

Letter from Sharon Harris

Letter from Randall Hofland

Letter from Curtis Handsaker

Letter from e.j.totty

Letter to Verizon regarding Jeffrey "Hunter" Jordan

February 16, 2004

Verizon Communications
Mr. Ivan G. Seidenberg, CEO
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

Dear Mr. Seidenberg,

It has come to my attention that my friend, Jeffrey L. Jordan, a Verizon employee in New Hampshire, has not been reporting to work since his arrest in Ohio for an alleged firearms technicality. This concerns me greatly because I do not believe it is by his choice.

When I learned of Mr. Jordan's arrest, I headed up to New Hampshire (via Ohio) as an observer and to provide moral support. So I'm in a position to see some things which I can't explain, mainly because Mr. Jordan has apparently been advised not speak about any aspect of his case that isn't already public knowledge.

As I mentioned, one of the things I've noticed is that Mr. Jordan hasn't been going to work since he returned from Ohio. From years of association with him, I know that he is a long-time employee of Verizon. With expensive legal actions in progress, it is unlikely that he would voluntarily cut his income by simply neglecting to go to work. I've asked, and he tells me there's nothing he's free to speak of regarding his employment status.

This gives me pause to wonder: Some companies suspend or terminate employees who have been convicted of violent crimes. Are you doing something similar to Mr. Jordan? I sincerely hope not. Allow me to put this in perspective. A private company may well be entitled to suspend/terminate an employee whose danger to society or individuals has been established by a court conviction; but this is not the case with Mr. Jordan.

First, he isn't accused of a violent crime. As best the Ohio Highway Patrol can determine, he may have violated a technical rule on licensed carry. No one is claiming that anyone whomsoever was harmed or threatened.

Second, there was no crime. Mr. Jordan was licensed to carry a firearm, just as he was licensed to operate a truck. Ohio authorities arbitrarily chose to acknowledge his driver's license but not the carry license. This is an interesting take on the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the US Constitution (the very clause that causes states to accept one another's driver's licenses, marriages, even Verizon's own corporate status).

Third, Mr. Jordan's trial has not even begun, much less brought (an exceedingly unlikely) conviction.

Fourth, all this took place while Mr. Jordan was on vacation, hundreds of miles away from work. It has no bearing on his performance as a Verizon employee. You should not be altering a man's work-status on the basis of off-duty activities.

I hope that you haven't terminated or suspended Mr. Jordan for an alleged act which has not yet been questioned in court, much less proved. But why else wouldn't he be going to work?

Which brings me to another question: Even though I accompanied Mr. Jordan from Ohio to New Hampshire, I never saw him return to work at all. This suggests to me that he was suspended/terminated by Verizon before he even got back home. How did Verizon learn details of his legal situation even before he came to work to inform the company? If public news reports were your only source of information, then proceeding directly to suspension/termination without a hearing is highly improper. Maybe Verizon had a more direct channel for information to which the rest of us are not privy. Which begs still more questions: A channel to whom? Is someone giving Verizon insider information (or misinformation) on Mr. Jordan's case on the sly; and if so, why? What information? Who? Is that legal?

This reeks. Does Verizon conduct "star chamber" personnel actions?

Would you do this to an employee accused of failing to register his vehicle, not mowing his lawn, or forgetting to renew his driver's license (all comparable to the offense of which Mr. Jordan is accused). Are you singling out Mr. Jordan because his is a firearms-related case? If so, do you remember what happened to CitiBank and Smith & Wesson, when they angered a few million gun owners?

Verizon is a huge company, offering a wide variety of landline, long distance, and wireless access services. Which means that you very likely have a large number of America's estimated 100 million gun owners as customers. Which, in turn, means that a total boycott by pro-defense gun owners would hurt.

Mr. Jordan is not permitted to speak about this, so I invite you to do so. Please confirm or deny my suspicions. If you have not suspended/fired Mr. Jordan, just say so publicly, and I will publicly apologize. If you have preemptively acted against Mr. Jordan, admit that, and explain why. In the latter case, you can also tell us with whom the suspension/termination idea originated, and its purpose.

I first asked these questions publicly on February 8, 2004, and forwarded them directly to Verizon at that time (some of my readers tell me that they also forwarded the questions to you). To date, your company has failed to respond in any fashion. I offer you this opportunity to rectify that error. In the absence of any answers, I believe an immediate boycott will be in order. Sincerely,

Carl Bussjaeger
Editor, North American Samizdat

News re: the Newdow case on the Pledge of Allegiance

As an attorney, I am fascinated by the Pledge of Allegiance case presently before the U.S. Supreme Court. As a pro bono service to help the media and the public prepare for the eventual decision of the highest Court, I have collected astounding historic photos and information about the pledge (at http://members.ij.net/rex/pledge3.html).

In the process of researching the Newdow case, I have become the only site on the internet that collects and displays historic photos of the original Pledge of Allegiance (at http://members.ij.net/rex/pledge2.html).

The pledge's history is suppressed because it is so un-libertarian.

The original Pledge of Allegiance was written by a self-proclaimed socialist in U.S. "Nationalist" clubs and the original salute to the flag resembled and predated the salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. As strange as it may seem, the ideas that inspired the pledge's author also resulted in mass atrocities worldwide (see http://members.ij.net/rex/pledgebackward.html).

Please inform the public about the history of the salute and pledge, to prepare them for the coming decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rex Curry

Do you know a libertarian who deserves an award for working for liberty?

Would you take just a moment to help me recognize and reward some libertarians who have done outstanding volunteer work for liberty?

They are probably people in your own town or state. (Maybe you!)

I need your help to get their names so we can give them the award and prizes they've earned.

Specifically, we need the names of all people who have qualified for our "Lights of Liberty" Awards in 2003.

You may know some people who did this. You may be one yourself.

They are people who did one or more of the following in calendar year 2003:

  • 1) Letters to the editor: Gotten 3 letters to the editor published (in a non-libertarian newspaper or other publication) that used the words "libertarian" or "libertarianism" in a positive light. (This can include the words "Libertarian Party.")

  • 2) Operation Politically Homeless (OPH): Participated in three OPH booths, for two hours or more per day at each. (Every day at a multi-day event, such as a state fair, counts as one day.)

  • 3) Public speaking: Delivered three speeches to non-libertarian groups such as service clubs, classrooms, Toastmasters, political rallies, etc.

Why This is Important:

1) They (or you) will get recognition and neat stuff!

Anyone who accomplished any one of those important outreach goals in 2003 will receive the following from us:

  • A great-looking "Lights of Liberty" certificate, suitable for framing.

  • Public Recognition: Winners' names will be placed at our "Lights of Liberty" 2003 honor page on the World Wide Web. Our Web site is visited by thousands of people each day. This special "Lights of Liberty" honor page will remain up through the years, to inspire others.

  • More recognition: Press releases announcing each winner will be sent to appropriate local, state, and national libertarian organizations. Last year LP News ran a story about the awards, and we published the names of all winners in an ad in LP News.

  • A discount coupon for 20% off any catalog order from the Advocates' extensive selection of libertarian products—good for an order of any size.

  • Name in drawing for great prizes—books, tapes, T-shirts, etc.

  • Name in drawing for a FABULOUS Grand Prize: all names will be entered in a drawing for our "Libertarian Library" autographed copies of every book written by LP presidential candidates since John Hospers in 1972! This is a collection we normally only give to people who donate $250 or more!

We have the names of about 50 people who have met our criteria, but we know there are a lot more out there.

We are preparing the awards and drawing this month, so I need to hear from you right away.

In fact, we must get the nominations by the end of the day, Monday, March 1.

If there is anyone you think may have qualified, please nominate them by filling out the quick and easy form at:

Or email us at light@TheAdvocates.org

Or call us at 800-932-1776.

If there is someone who you think would know people who have qualified (your party's outreach director, perhaps, or someone who conducted OPH booths in 2003), please send us their email address or forward this letter to them, or both.

If you have met these qualifications, don't be modest! Let us know. Your example will encourage other people to engage in these important outreach activities. Every "Lights of Liberty" award winner is important to us and to the libertarian movement. Every time someone wins a "Lights of Liberty" award, it helps us publicize the program, it encourages others, and it helps convinces our sponsors that this is a worthwhile program to continue.

Last year "Lights of Liberty" winners took libertarian ideas to literally millions of people. Many were encouraged by this program to do extra outreach activities to win the prize.

In conclusion:

Please tell any libertarian activists who may have qualified about "Lights of Liberty." Please ask them to contact us. Forward this email to anyone you think qualifies, or who may know of someone.

Candidates qualify if they've met the above requirements in public speaking, OPH booth operating, or letter writing.

Activists who are out there doing the hard work for liberty deserve recognition! Please help us give it to them.

thank you So much for reading this and thanks again for the vital work you're doing for liberty! Please let us know if we can help further.

Best wishes,

Sharon Harris, President
Advocates for Self Government

You can see previous winners. You can find out all about the awards. And you can nominate yourself or others for these prestigious awards today. Please visit:

important: Deadline for entries is Midnight, Monday, March 1, 2004. Thank you!

Re "Hunter", Justice and The American Way

I have just read the commentary by Carl Bussjaeger here: http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/04/02/19/hunter.htm [very like the letter from Mr. Bussjaeger above]—Mr. Ed

I know that what is happening is mostly happening in Ohio, but New Hmpshire has its own problems with abuse of authority (look up these case dockets from the New Hampshire court for written proof:: NH Supreme Court Dockets 2003-0265 and 2003-0323, Plymouth Family Division Docket 2001-M-0095) and this translates throughout American, thus my own commentary below:

To the editor;

Those that call themselves "Americans" are often that by birth alone. Others have much more invested in their citizenship, yet many if not all of us have lost sight of what binds us and makes us great both as a people and as a nation.

We as a people often forget the shed blood and tears that have tortured bodies and soul, and thus forged the unique national identity, and forgotten the valuable lessons learned as a consequence. Bigotry seems to be an inevitable affliction of mankind, perhaps the consequence of the weaknesses of our personal and collective psyches. Our insecurities haunt and drive us apart, and so we have lost sight of the potential of a great nation based on even greater ideals and pulling together not just for our own welfare but for the greater good of all despite what flaws may be found in that union.

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the "Bill of Rights", formed the essential shield that protected The People from negligent and malicious authority of the newly empowered Federal government. Unfortunately, the self-interests of some resulted in a fundamental flaw in the nation, creating a huge gap in the rights of different people within this nation. As a consequence, a bitter Civil War between Americans was inevitable, with neither side totally right or totally wrong in fighting for their ideals.

One truly great thing came from the American Civil War: Section One of The Fourteenth Amendment. While still very much underestimated, that one paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment substantially altered the balance of power between The People and The Government both state and federal. The underpinnings of Federal Supremacy were greatly weakened, along with the independence of The States, for now The People were guaranteed "the equal protection of the laws" and reinforced rights to "due process of law". That new authority and constitutional mandate is a two-edged sword acting against both the state and federal powers.

Unfortunately, the federal government has hacked away at those protections since the Fourteenth Amendment was first passed, repeatedly challenging the "equal protection" obligations and creating a bonanza of deprived persons with diminished rights as citizens. A careful comparison of state and federal statutes will quickly reveal that some citizens now have greater rights and authority than others, with those enhanced powers almost always associated with one's superior position in society.

Now comes the question of the definition of marriage, and more importantly, whose has the authority to define it. Some have claimed that marriage is under the power of government alone, and that those "civil" powers override the religious roots of marriage. Others see marriage as a religious ceremony and the civil union as separate from that religious union.

The obvious facts include that the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights declares "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", a clause which many have argued requires "separation of church and state". That is a great extension of the actual language and is used to fulfill political motives rather than the intent of the Constitution. Yet in either context, plain language or activist extension, it is clear that religious marriages are to be independent of any law written by government, which leaves the issue of the "civil union" aspect.

All citizens of this nation are guaranteed "due process" and "the equal protection of the laws". Arguing that this should apply in one place and not another, or for one person and not another, completely corrupts the language of the Fourteenth Amendment, again for political purposes. Such things are not innocent errors, for they have at minimum selfish motives, and in all too many cases, malevolent purpose as well. We can easily find law after law that is designed to deprive a citizen of certain rights because of past behavior, often incredibly petty acts when considering the charges and their implications.

This is particularly true when analyzing the so-called "gun control" laws that never really seem to protect ordinary citizens from harm, and all of the very many petty crimes that now implicate the "loss" of Second Amendment Rights. Recent history shows us that sworn officials of federal, state or local authority can engage in reckless behavior that is grossly in violation of law (such as seen in August of 1992 at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, or the next year in Waco, Texas) and in the end be excused from any legal liability. Yet ordinary citizens face a gauntlet of traps, including the New Hampshire father that required an executive pardon just last December for a "simple assault" conviction (he slapped his teenage son that had secretly dropped out of school) so that he might be deployed to Iraq with his unit of the New Hampshire National Guard, with the new evidence presented for the pardon suggesting a malicious prosecution at the core of the original conviction.

Americans have been too lenient with their sworn public officials when it comes to deliberate violations of oaths and laws. And Americans have been foolish in allowing the ever growing body of encroachments on their rights and liberties, for what is once lost is often lost forever. The New Hampshire father's pardon is the rare exception, and one necessitated more by the dire circumstances of the current "war" than real justice for all. Much evidence suggests that there is now an inevitable slide into tyrrany, with increasing concentrations of military style powers in various state and federal police forces. George Orwell would not be surprised.

There is but one solution to this inevitability, and that is to demand as A People and A Nation that the Fourteenth Amendment be faithfully adhered to by all in this nation. We must not allow its authority be diminished in any way, including by an amendment that actually creates a superior class of citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment is the one true "Equal Rights" Amendment, and anything that would alter those universal rights is a ruse designed to deprive The People of our rights.

It's time for Equal Rights for all, not just the few. Their oaths of office require that public officials ensure "equal" treatment for all. Marriage in church is separate from the civil union recognized by government, with each having legitimate authority to define those unions per their own obligations, either to God, or to the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Constitution: Fourteenth Amendment

Fourteenth Amendment—Rights Guaranteed Privileges and Immunities of Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Randall Hofland

Re: Aaron Russo

Mr. Russo, go to VoteSmart and fill out the NPAT. It's not that hard.

Mr. Bush has also refused to fill it out, as did Gore and Kerry (and Dean and Clark and etc.)

Do you really want to be included in such a list?

And don't cop out on the answers when you get there either. Check the box that says what you mean, don't paraphrase a choice already presented in the "other" box.

I don't expect this letter to have any effect, but I can always hope.

Curtis Handsaker

RE: TLE Interviews Aaron Russo—Part One http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle259-20040215-08.html

My only 'beef' with what is said in the 'interview' is that Mr. Russo comments thusly to the question below:

  • TLE: What would you have done if it had been your watch and the World Trade Center was attacked the way it was?

  • RUSSO: I would have discovered who did it and shown the American people the proof of it, the evidence, and then gone after the people who did it.

  • TLE: With or without reference to nation-states, it sounds like you want to deal with these criminals as individuals.

  • RUSSO: Well, they're the ones who did it. How else are you going to deal with them? What other choice do you have? If an individual does it, go after the individual. If a state did it, go after the state. I mean, go after whoever did it. You can't go after a state when an individual did it. I would also make sure that the people of America saw the evidence of who did it. We were just told. We never saw the evidence of who did it.

If I were Mr. Russo, my reply right off the top would have been:

"Well, now, wait just moment here. See? If the US had not been meddling in foreign lands at the behest of the 'whore of commerce', then very likely none of what see happening would be happening.

"The very simple matter is this: The USC gives the Congress the authority to defend the shores, borders, territories, shipping and the citizens of the United States. However, it most certainly doesn't have the authority to invade foreign shores for some pecker-head and his brother who've gone and gotten into trouble with the local natives in a foreign land.

"It would be one thing if the government of that foreign land was actively seeking out American citizens and harming them. But it is quite another when someone goes willingly into a foreign land to do business—at his/her own behest, and runs afoul of the existing government and/or its peoples. American business interests should always be viewed as private choices of the people involved, and not the government of the US.

"There was a man by the name of Smedley Darlington Butler, who served very honorably every place he went, and was awarded TWO Congressional Medals of Honor. An almost unique happenstance.


"Now, Butler—upon leaving the service of his nation, he proceeded to expose the entire mess to everyone who would listen—and not many did, which is why we find ourselves in the mess we live currently.

"Now look: If those Arab men and women are so deeply dedicated to rending the U.S., then why weren't they doing such a long time ago? Kind of begs the question of the whole matter, doesn't it?

"How many times do you piss into another man's face, before he gets so bloody damned mad that he flies planes into your buildings?

"When you go out of your way to create enemies, they will correspondingly go out of their way to use every last bit of technology to make a point. So far they've been doing a pretty good job. Very few of their efforts have been discovered.

"You see? It has not a thing to do with our life-styles, or the kind of government we have, or that we are 'freer' than they. Instead, it has everything to do with what our own government has done to them either directly or indirectly, again—in the name of the Whore of Commerce.

"They've connected the dots, and have arrived at the conclusion that the US Government has in fact connived to make them just as miserable as it can, for a fist full of dollars. And, for a few dollars more, that same government has gone out of its way to murder, maim, and make miserable almost a whole sub-continent in the name a money.

"If the Arabs were really interested in 'doing war', likely they'd have amassed an army of very significant proportions to do just that, right after taking care of another 'problem' in the middle east that festers like a sore that's been picked at since right after WWII.

"But, they haven't. I've a very strong feeling that they would just like to be left to their own devices—if only the rest of us would leave them alone.

"That, Neil, is the gist of the whole matter."

That's what I would have said. But then, that's me.

In Liberty,

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