L. Neil Smith's
Number 271, May 16, 2004

Remember: You are the most powerful force in history!

[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 Kathryn A. Graham

Letter from Curt Howland with reply by L. Neil Smith

Letter from e.j.totty

Another Letter from e.j.totty

Letter from Alan R. Weiss

Letter from Manuel Miles

This is in response to L. Neil's wonderful article, "Torturing The Truth," in the May 9th edition of "The Libertarian Enterprise":

Neil, in many ways you've hit the head on the head (as usual), but I may be able to clarify one point for you. To the best of my knowledge, you have never served in the U.S. military, and I have.

You stated:

"The guilty themselves are wailing that they had no training or instructions. I'd like to know what training or instructions you need to tell you that you don't drag helpless naked captives around on a leash or force them to simulate sex with each other while you take pictures."

When I went through military basic training (in February and March of 1973), there was still a huge point made of teaching us that we were not bound to obey an illegal order from any superior, regardless of rank or position. In fact, I had occasion to refuse one such order (not about anything approaching torture, thank heavens, just an amorous senior NCO) during my years of active duty. I did so by asking for it in writing (my right when not in combat under the Uniform Code of Military Justice), and the order mysteriously vanished right along with the problem. Somehow, I had "misunderstood" what was being asked of me. Yeah, right.

The message I am receiving from all of this furor about training is that these young soldiers never received that instruction during their weeks of basic training. They were told to do what they did by the persons placed in authority over them, and they believed themselves legally bound by the orders they were given. That most assuredly does not excuse — even a little bit — the atrocities that they have committed. Anyone with more courage than an ant would refuse such an order no matter what the consequences, report the individual that gave it immediately, and go right up the chain of command all the way to the Pentagon and the White House if necessary.

Nevertheless, the merest thought that American soldiers today may not be receiving this all-important bit of training terrifies me more than anything else that has happened in this disgusting war.

Kathryn A. Graham

Dear TLE,

I read "Some Thoughts on Concealed Carry" by the esteemed (and steamed!) El Neil, and have a question.

I thought that S&W had redeemed itself in some small way by being purchased out from under its British holding company and in the last year introducing both the .50 cal revolver and their own .45ACP 1911.

Have they done something since then to re-disgrace themselves, other than likely supplying arms to government buyers?

Curt Howland


Dear Curt —

Until the day that Smith & Wesson issues a complete abrogation of their deal with the Clinton Administration, I will continue to boycott them and urge others to do so. I have collected their revolvers for decades, and they have many interesting new products I'd like to try (their 8-shot N-frame .38 Super comes to mind), but not until they make it clear whose side they're on.

S&W's continued efforts to create a "smart" gun — a very bad idea in itself, and the first step in a very short evolutionary chain leading to a gun that can be turned off remotely by the authorities — does nothing to help them regain my confidence, either.

Please feel free to quote me, especially to them.

L. Neil Smith

Dear Mr. Ed, and yes, you too - Ken,

This ought to make Bill Stone, the Third, quite happy.

It makes me happy too.

I guess we get to party, eh?


Hollywood — that quintessential oasis of degenerate, myopic, cultural, and — in their own communistic words: "decadence," has sought to place a block on any coping of DVD media. Actually, their a bunch of frigging hypocrites by dint of their own words.

Does that change anything? No, not at all. They're still a pack of liars, cheats, thieves, and panderers.

Who cares? Back before WWII, they licked Stalin's' butt hole, and made shitty movies. Right, Charlie? You are what you eat ...

Well, damn it, if I may copy records, tapes, or CDs, then by golly should I not also be able to (for myself) — by extension, be able to do the very same thing with DVDs?

Why shouldn't I — if I bought the 'original' from a bona fide store? Hollywood can kiss my butt-hole if it thinks for one instant that it is going to extract anything more from me than it already has.

Capitolism is one thing, but extortion is quite another!

If I buy a book and take it home, am I forbidden from ever making copies of it for my own uses?

Not according to US copyright laws.

What's the difference between my own handwritten transcription, as opposed to something done on a photocopier?

If the transcription is faithful, then is not the copier facsimile the very same thing?

Do we discuss the matter of fidelity here?

I think not.

Let Hollywood burn with the rest of the wood.

Maybe what arises after the fire will be fresh, new, and just a bit more reasonable.

in Liberty,


Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken

Re.: www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle270-20040509-04.html

While I share some of the antipathies expressed by T.A. Barnett, I must also express a degree of disagreement for the following reasons.

1) Tariffs are legal — per the USC, Art. I, Sect. 8, paragraph 1. (a tariff is a duty). Since the USC has not been amended, then the treaties spoken of have only partial legal liability. For, if one assumes that trade agreements subsume even a portion of the USC into an inferior law, then is may well be presumed that nothing in the USC is safe from the Senate's treaty powers — including the Bill of Rights.

That could be one interpretation, except that the Bill of Rights came after the ratification, and therefore amended everything — including the treaty powers of the Senate.

Therefore, any amendment after the ratification of the USC has greater authority than any part of the USC proper.

I do believe that I could effectively argue that most treaties approved by the US Senate could well be found to be — in the strictest legal sense — without force of law, by dint of the lack of understanding Constitutional law by those who approved those treaties, insofar as they impinge upon rights enumerated.

2) Any nation not having the same regulatory structure concerning whatever aspect regarding the product being imported, should not expect special treatment. In other words, for a product to enter these borders, it shall be adjudged a duty which reflects equanimity regarding regulatory restrictions which business interests here within must abide.

If a business in the US is impeded in any way in the course of its operations by regulatory restrictions, laws, rules, regulations and whatever taxes, then the appropriate cost of those shall be accounted for, and an appropriate duty — cost per item — shall be levied, counter to those costs which are not levied by the foreign source.

Fair is fair.

I have a twin onus here:

One against whiny Americans who complain about the cost of living.

Another against the government they support that causes that cost of living to be exorbitant.

I'm reminded of a Cheech & Chong movie, where Chong's wife played the part of a newly wed.

Chong enter's the bedchamber of the hotel where she and the man who's playing her husband are in bed engaging in a sex game ("Is it 'up' yet?).

Upon Chong's entry, she exits the bed and directly confront's Chong — pressing her gorgeous body up against his, and dares him to do something!!!

Of course, Chong just stands his ground.

Well, Americans are the same way with American made goods.

Now you might bitch about that, but why should American employees get a screw job because government has been meddling in their company's affairs?

The whole of business has been corrupted by the meddling of American government — at the behest of Americans no less, and then the wining crybabies have the temerity to complain about how much the product of their fellow laborers is 'beyond their reach.'


While it is true that government is the root cause of all that business here suffers, it it also unfair for any American to proclaim that business is its own problem, when in fact most Americans readily admit that they want more while giving less for any particular product.

Fair might be fair, but when you vote for — and get the screw job you've been asking for, then who's to blame?

It's obvious that Americans hate their own so much that they are willing to forgo buying any American-made product, and buy something very much 'cheaper.'

I employ term 'cheap' in the pejorative sense, because many times the product they buy will not last very long, or have the quality that American made products do.

You get what you pay for: A good screw job, thank you.

Most businesses here in the US are run by private individuals and families — and NOT by big mega-corporations.

The multinationals are the real culprits here, because the play both sides against the middle, what with the subsidies, tax breaks, tax write-offs, and other incentives to lie.

True, there are those 'small' businesses that sneak in edgewise, but they aren't near as plentiful as the big boys.

Now for the 'meat' of this:

Quote: "Here's how the subsidy machination works: let's say that Company A manufactures toy guns for $9 and Company B manufactures similar items for $7 and sells them for $6. Consumers are willing to pay $6 for Company A's items, and yet the company is on the verge of insolvency. The government plans to "save" jobs from Company A, guarantees the business a price of $9 per toy gun by promising to make up the difference between the sale price and the floor price. Company A ends up with its guaranteed profit of $9 per toy gun by spiking their toy gun inventories when there is no increase in demand for them, flooding the market and deflating the price to $3. Eventually taxpayers are coerced into paying $6 per toy gun, yet kids are only willing to shell out $3 for those items. As a result, Company B goes out of business." Unquote

Here's how that rings out:

Company A makes a toy for U$9
Company B makes a toy for U$7

Company B sells its toy for U$6

Here's the question:

Who's paying U$6 for company A's toy?

It was company B that made the U$7 toy but sold it for U$6

How does Company A sell it's toy for U$6?

Talk about being a 'loss leader'!!

However, I know what Barnett is getting at.

He should have stated it in just this way:

A subsidy is nothing less than a bribe to keep prices low at the checkout counter.

While the company is keeping its prices low, it is getting a kickback via the subsidy — which everybody via taxes, is paying.

Those who buy the product are in fact paying twice: Once at the checkout, and once again in taxes.

But even if you don't buy the product, you're still getting shafted with the tax-to-subsidy kickback.

In summary, then, government is a liar, a cheat, a thief, a swindler and a murderer — all rolled into one.

in Liberty,


This is for the few folks here who haven't heard ... or for those of you ready to actually implement Liberty in our Lifetimes.

I'd like to introduce you to The Free State Project.


The Free State Project (FSP) is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to New Hampshire, where they may work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government. The success of the Free State Project would likely entail reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, reforms in state and local law, an end to federal mandates, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.

This "Liberty" we speak of is both economic freedom AND personal freedom (along with personal responsibility). Having said that, FSP members have been working together in a spirit of cooperation to recruit 20,000 (currently over 5700 people have signed the pledge) and then migrate to the voted-upon Free State (New Hampshire).

We welcome people of all nationalities, faiths, non-faiths, and so on. We do not discriminate based on age, sex, gender, sexuality, marital status, race, color, clothing style, or ANYTHING except your desire to work towards Liberty in our Lifetimes, and your ability and willingness to sign the Statement of Intent (pledge):


We invite you to check us out.


Alan R. Weiss Member and Organizer, Free State Project

Dear Mr Ed, et al,

I attach the leaflet which I made (see today's and last week's entries in The Kaptain's Log). I hope it is both of interest, and an inspiration.

Remember: You are the most powerful force in history!

Peace and Liberty,

Kapt Kanada, a.k.a. Manuel Miles



It's not enough to be shocked and horrified by the war crimes; we have a duty as human beings to stand up and demand an immediate end to all the imperial wars and occupations of conquered lands.

Emperor Bush says that, "If you're not for us, you're against us," but life isn't that easy. To truly oppose the torture and murder of innocents, we have to actually do something; sitting at home and hoping for someone else to act doesn't count.

Therefor, the Edmonton Libertarian Club is holding a Rally Against The Empire this Saturday, the 15th of May, at 1 p.m. at Gazebo Park in Old Strathcona.

Bring your friends and family and show the world that you do not endorse the evil done by the US empire.

Remember the words of Buffy Ste-Marie: "He's the universal soldier, and he really is to blame; his orders come from far away no more. They come from here and there, and you and me..."

This Saturday, it's time to order a cease fire and a return to barracks.

For the best source of antiwar news and views, go to: www.antiwar.com and www.lewrockwell.com To learn more about the philosophy of Peace and Liberty, go to: www.libertarian.ca and www.libertarian.ca/english/enhay.htm and www.webleyweb.com/tle.


You've read about it, now if you want to DO more FREEDOM in your life, check out:

[Are YOU Doing Freedom?]
Doing Freedom!

This ain't no collection of essays and philosophical musings!

Doing Freedom! Magazine and Services specializes in
hard-core, hands-on, how-to information that is meant to be
more than entertaining and interesting; our goal is to be useful.

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