L. Neil Smith's
Number 272, May 23, 2004

The Most Pathetically Incompetent Empire 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 L. Neil Smith

Letter from Bill St. Clair

Letter from Mike Blessing

Letter from EJ Totty

Another Letter from EJ Totty

Letter from Rex Curry

Letter from Michael Brightbill

Letter from Audie Gaddis

Letter from Todd Andrew Barnett

Letter from Frank Ney

Letter from Mike Lorrey

You know folks, they stuck Enterprise on Friday nights for the same reason it was done to the original series: to kill it dead, dead, dead, despite the uprising of the fans against mentally challenged execubots.

Now that we have (at least part of) another season to work with, I'm going to make a suggestion to these lists, and if there's sufficient response, then we'll approach other, more specifically fanly sites and groups.

I propose that from the beginning of the new season, we all throw little parties to watch Enterprise with our friends and neighbors, or, failing that, that we watch it together while we're in contact with one another in real time, online.

We can also have a list, specifically of libertarian Enterprise fans, and our remarks (and objections) can be passed along to the producers of the series. It might prove effective in any number of ways.

I'll have to miss one episode a month, due to my daughter being the DJ at the rink. But I'll record it and join the discussions when I can.

Whaddya think?

L. Neil Smith

TLE 271 contained an article by Carl Bussjaeger entitled "Why Is Smith & Wesson Still Here?" (http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle271-20040516-05.html). Mr. Bussjaeger asks why Smith and Wesson should not still die because of the lack of a public apology for their despicable agreement with the Clinton administration. Personally, I agree with John Ross that, though they didn't say the agreement was off, they have acted that way, in spades, cast in the stainless steel frame of the world's most powerful handgun, the .500 Magnum. Mr. Ross wrote the following in July of 2003 in his "Ross in Range" article "The Betrayal and Redemption of an American Icon" (http://john-ross.net/betrayal.htm):

"The new owners of Smith & Wesson incorporated their proprietary internal lock into every gun they manufactured. Then, and to their everlasting credit, since the Dogpatch crowd was out of the White House, they completely ignored virtually every other provision of the hated HUD agreement.

"Unfortunately, this has not been good enough for a few gunowners. These people want Smith & Wesson to publicly renounce the agreement in writing, and stop making guns with the little internal lock that no one ever uses anyway. They claim that only then will the new owners have demonstrated that they've seen the error of their predecessorsí ways in trying to appease evil.

"I believe that actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the new owners have been exemplary, to my eye. Someone at the factory may have said the new owners would follow the terms of The Agreement, but the fact is they are not doing so. Thereís also one more action that the new Smith & Wesson has taken, which I've saved for last. They've introduced a new gun firing a new cartridge.

"Players in the money business have a term for when a person or a company makes their displeasure with you crystal clear. Itís called 'Fuck you, strong letter to follow.' Smith & Wesson's new model introduction is shouting this at every state extortionist that would chill Americansí freedoms. As in 1935 and 1956, S&W has introduced a new, powerful cartridge, and as in 1935 and 1956, the naysayers are whining that 'no one needs it.' But unlike the .357 and .44 Magnums that were incremental improvements over existing technology, the new S&W cartridge is something else."

I cheered when L. Neil Smith renamed the .40 S&W cartridge to .40 Liberty, but I am now perfectly happy to use the original name when talking about the ammo I use in my Kel-Tec Sub-2000 carbine. Smith & Wesson have redeemed themselves to me.

Bill St. Clair

Re: Smurf & Weasel Question

Concerning the Smurf & Weasel boycott—

IMHO, it's irrelevant whether or not Smurf & Weasel abrogates their deal with Waco Willie—they can issue such press releases all they want. The ferals will still hold them to that deal that the previous owners made with the Clinton Administration. Anyone familiar with the tax honesty / protestor / resister movement can fill you in about that—they've been trying to get the IRS and courts to follow the government's own statutes for, what is it, twenty, thirty years now.

And my personal boycott of Smurf & Weasel began in June 1998, when I sold my M3914 to buy a new computer. I bought it factory-fresh and the damn POS jammed every other, every third round. Same for the Colt M1991A1 that I had bought alongside it—I gave up that POS in March 1998. I switched to Glocks and haven't looked back.

Mike Blessing

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Say, look: After all this time, I have to ask a real question: What with the name "Smith & Wesson", why hasn't L.N. Smith sought to buy-out the cocksuckers what own the business, and lend a once and forever good name to the business?

Ya know? It would make owning a genuine revolver with the name "Smith&Wesson" such an honor that I'd cry over not having the money to buy one!

If I had the money to buy the whole friggen outfit, I'd give L. Neil the whole concern.

I wonder what he'd do with it?

EJ Totty

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken

Re.: http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle271-20040516-06.html

Oh, lovely!

So, if I jack-off (masturbate), then am I guilty of a "victimless crime?"

What a LOAD OF TOSH—as the Brits say.

Well, great! Let me wipe my arse!

Am I then also liable for some degree of despicable indecency?

Jeeeesus H. Cariste!

What's next?

EJ Totty

As an attorney, I am asked about important court cases, including Brown v Board of Education (May 17, 1954; 50th anniversary is near). No one can measure the monstrous impact of government schools imposing racism and teaching racism as official policy for so long. Government school racism did much more damage than private enterprise could ever have afforded to do. It would have been better if government had stayed out of schools altogether.

The Brown decision ignores how government schools started the problem that Brown ended. When government began socializing schools in the late 1800's, it expanded government-mandated racism. Brown is another example of government peeing on everyone and then claiming that it was rain.

The Pledge of Allegiance (1892) was written by a bigot who was a self- proclaimed national socialist and advocated that government should operate all schools as a socialist monopoly and end all of the better alternatives. http://members.ij.net/rex/pledgebigot.html The government forced children to attend segregated schools where they recited the Pledge using it's original straight-arm salute http://members.ij.net/rex/pledgeracism.html (with eye-popping photo there).

If the government had taken over all churches then the same horror would have resulted, with government-mandated racism in government churches. The libertarian solution would have been to end government churches. It is fortunate that the Constitution prevented government churches. It is unfortunate that the Constitution did not prevent government schools, though they are no where authorized.

In addition to ending government's racism, Brown should have ended government schools. The separation of school and state is as important as the separation of church and state. http://members.ij.net/rex/schoolsmain.html Its not too late.

This article is also displayed at Opinion Editorials at http://www.opinioneditorials.com/guestcontributors/curry_20040514.html

and with photos etc at http://members.ij.net/rex/schoolbrown

Rex Curry

A while ago I exchanged e-mails with Neil about my state's party. Specifically the points that,

1) The only presidential candidate I've heard about from them is a guy by the name of Gary Nolan, yet there is now Three possible candidates that I know of. Michael Badnerick(?), Gary Nolan, and that Russo guy. Where is the balanced, free flow of information from my own party?

2) At the annual State convention/dinner/meeting/shindig/hoopla/whatever, the Speaker of Honor guest speaker guy was the man that ran Harry Brown's champagne Why wouldn't the Party chase this man with rocks and sticks, much less honor him with the guest speaker role at our state convention?

Oh, something else that came to mind just now. When I went to a BBQ to meet some of these people face to face, I find out not one of them owns a sidearm with which to protect themselves or me, nor have they heard of, or even read, the Probability Broach.

Needless to say, I'm ashamed of my own state party. Neil said that he was pretty busy so he couldn't look into this, but mentioned that he was going to talk to you. Now that I finally got a new(old) monitor for my computer, I can get back to correspondence and such.

TLE Reader,
Michael Brightbill

Give The Gun Grabbers What They Want! A Response to Bussjaeger

Mr. Bussjaeger, I must say, I have yet to find such a well-written argument, absent of hard facts then your LE article: Why Is Smith & Wesson Still Here? You're right, you probably have been too busy and entirely too focused on your Free Hunter/Verizon boycott project. Yes, too preoccupied to consider what has happened with S&W as of late.

1) Yes, the Smith and Wesson ownership did change—for the better. I too shouted for their demise at their previous owners. I had a close friend, a gun dealer, threatened with a S&W lawsuit because he refused to sell their guns. Those owners, ignorant of the power we pro-gunners have, thought they could bully gun dealers, compromise with Clinton, and somehow show a profit. Ha! They lost a ton of money. I was so happy to see my friend's actions vindicated. Sweet justice.

2) Yes, the new owners made/sold gun locks. But they needed a chance to prove themselves. And they did. The new ownership took the company back to their roots as a stalwart advocate of gun rights. Are you suggesting that your thoughts and actions have always been so libertarian that you can effectively judge people and companies by what they once did? I can only imagine then that there is a tremendous assortment of goods and products you won't purchase. Sometimes companies do dumb things. I agree with Ayn Rand that Capitalism has a way of evolving our thinking.

3) Did Smith and Wesson apologize? That's up to the previous owners, not the new team. That is, unless you somehow expect the employees to do so. I don't imagine the guy spending his day forging barrels owes you an apology. I bet he's glad he's got more job security these days because of the new ownership.

4) They are proving their commitment to gun rights through their actions. They turn out quality firearms at prices gun owners can afford. Go investigate what they are doing for gun rights now. I doubt you are working harder than they are at protecting our 2nd Amendment liberties.

5) Yes, I am the proud owner of an S&W 500. This revolver has caused more than one anti-gunner to shake in their synthetic anti-meat eating boots. The 500 shines as a powerful symbol of gun rights. Picture if you will, a once upon a time firearms company, fallen on hard times, slid into the wrong hands, then finds the gun consuming public turning their backs on their slimy attempts to salvage their business. The S&W of that day found that Mr. Clinton wouldn't do squat to help them out in their hour of need. (Was he too busy with a certain intern at that time?) So they had to sell what was left of the company and go back whining to their mommy dearest, the Queen.

Then the new owners dared to produce the biggest, "baddest" handgun on the planet. Smack in the face of all those who believed Smith and Wesson's demise would cause the other gun manufacturers to fold.

6) You want to really scare the hell out of the gun control crowd? Buy the new 4" 500. Use it as your concealed carry gun. Then take a look at the other fine guns S&W is turning out in the name of the 2nd Amendment. Look at what they are doing for the NRA and IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association). Check out their beautiful 1911 .45ACP.

Finally, Mr. Bussjaeger, you wrote:

"I don't care how neat that 500 is; until I know S&W has made things right, and can be trusted to keep doing right, it aren't [sic] getting my money. The mere passage of time doesn't erase its crimes."

Sir, please tell me what new S&W is doing wrong? I would suggest you take a few more minutes to get to know the New or I shall I say, the Real Smith and Wesson.

Let Smith and Wesson die? Sorry, as much as Sarah Brady, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry et. al. would want that, it won't happen as long as they continue on their current path. I hope Smith and Wesson churns out boatloads of guns that sell like hotcakes. I want S&W to makes piles of cash of catering to the pro-gun rights crowd. I got the 8" 500 for my birthday. Maybe Santa will bring me the 4" for Christmas. Better yet, maybe I ought to use my 500 to take out Donner or Blitzen so we can have reindeer venison for Christmas dinner. Yum!

Audie Gaddis, Ph.D.

After reading e.j. totty's response to my published piece on the recent WTO ruling on U.S. subsidies to cotton farmers, I feel that I must respond to a number of points that he raised in his LTE.

In his missive, Mr. totty notes:

"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."

First, my piece was about U.S. farm cotton subsidies which was viewed unfavorably by Brazil and by the World Trade Organization (WTO), on the grounds that said subsidies manipulate world cotton trade by flooding the market with oversupplied and overproduced cotton at artificially pared down prices. I even acknowledged that Brazil is just as hypocritical for complaining about the subsidies since it deliberately subsidizes its aircraft industry, flooding the world market with oversupplied and overproduced airplanes at artificially rolled back prices as well. But that's a moot point as well as a separate issue for a different commentary for another day.

Given that my article had no mention of tariffs and the issue of tariffs is separate from the issue of farm subsidies, why Mr. totty would address this matter is vexing. However, I shall entertain him by responding to his point and then leave it be.

Yes, it is correct that the U.S. Constitution does allow tariffs (which are a form of taxation that the Founders allowed for the funding of the U.S. government), but the U.S. tariff code has grown significantly since the 1790s. When the code was first established, it only contained a single sheet of rates furnished at U.S. customhouses. By 1998, the code had grown substantially to over two enormous volumes with more than 8,573 different rates, all of which have resulted in a piling of arbitrary discriminations against and among products.

The problem is that the Founders, despite their good intentions, made a mistake in erecting the U.S. tariff code, even though they saw this as a compromise to help fund the federal government at its inception. Tariffs, historically, have been an anathema to a free and prosperous society. They are no doubt a bane, because they do raise prices, even though they do give certain industries stringent protections that no other industry can possibly enjoy. Whether Mr. totty concurs or not is not the issue; the truth is that tariffs have always been an enemy to human liberty and that's why the tariff code needs to be abolished and not replaced. It needs to be dismantled because it gives unfair protections to certain industries that smaller industries are not accorded, and it rips off the average American consumer who doesn't even benefit from the tariff but is rather burdened with the tax included in the price. That tax merely keeps the price above the level that market actors and conditions would normally keep the price at in every respect.

In a nutshell, tariffs are all about protectionism. Plain and simple. End of story.

Therefore, Mr. totty is in the wrong if he truly believes (or implies) that the U.S. tariff code is simply just ... or "fair" as he would like to put it. But of course, as I noted earlier, the tariff issue is separate from the farm subsidies issue.

With respect to the point of treaties having "only partial legal liability," that is simply claptrap. Treaties, as authored and agreed upon by every single government in the world, are only political tools to extend the powers of a government or any tax-funded global body, especially if that body happens to be the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, or any other organization. More often than not, treaties violate individual rights, and that's why they ought to be rejected. Because of this, the United States Code is so flawed that it allows the Senate to expanded its constitutionally-delegated powers to approve treaties that are not even recognizable under a federal republic (which is what our country used to be—it's now a fully-functional empire).

Of course the Senate's treaty powers can be amended once again....to be limited in its ability to approve treaties that violate human rights (and in the interim that may be a preferable course of action), but the whole system of government as we have now must be abolished and replaced with a system of government that is limited in power and is loosely run by a federation of states. More can be written on that point in a future article if needed.

As far as "any nation not having the same regulatory structure concerning whatever aspect regarding the product being imported," my article was not arguing in favor of "special treatment," nor does it have anything to do with "special treatment." It is simply pointing out that U.S. farm subsidies on cotton is just as unfair as any subsidies provided to certain businesses who think that they are entitled to the redistribution of wealth from those who rightfully reaped the fruits of their labor. The moral question that's never asked is this: where does it say in the U.S. Constitution that the federal government has the right to redistribute wealth from those who rightfully reaped the fruits of their labor to those who didn't, even if it's done for the "moral good" of society? It is morally wrong to steal from those who earned the money that they produced, and it doesn't matter what the reason is for appropriating that money in the first place. If it's not moral for a thief to forcibly take money out of your wallet in an alley, then why is it moral for the government to do it? Because the Sixteenth Amendment and the Internal Revenue Code justify it, trying to establish a cloud of morality on the issue. In the eyes of a federal bureaucrat, legalized theft in every sense of the word is moral, righteous, and good. The only problem with their thinking is that they refuse to look at the reality and consequences of their actions. They refuse to acknowledge one simple truth, and that it is this: theft is theft, no matter who does it. If it's immoral for any private citizen to do it, then it's also immoral for the government to do it. However, as usual, the statists on Capitol Hill just love the semantics, even when they use them to hide behind the lies, the debauchery, the delusions, the perversions, and the moral bankruptcy which are an innate part of the system.

This comes down to the simple truth: welfare is welfare. It doesn't matter if an impoverished soul receives welfare from the State or if a wealthy entrepreneur receives it; it's still welfare. Farm welfare is something that has been celebrated and glorified. It needs to be discouraged. That means the government needs to get out of the agribusiness, and farmers need to either get their act together and produce efficiently or get out of the way.

Regulations are very much of the problem; they drive competitors out of business. Unsubsidized farms (namely the smaller ones) usually find that they can't compete in a free market environment, simply because there is none, thanks to the regulations lobbied by Big Agribusiness. Why should cotton farms receive subsidies? After all, they are the benefactors of the subsidies. Consumers don't benefit, and neither do the unsubsidized farms. Why should American farmers be protected at any costs via the profitable subsidy machine?

If farmers want to be competitive, they ought to push for elimination of regulations and taxes that make farming operations expensive, hiring employees expensive, and so on. All edicts and rules should also be repealed, and the sooner that happens, the better.

Considering Mr. totty thinks that "fair is fair" when subsidies are freely given as if the government were the parent handing out free candy to the trick-and-treaters, his proposition that American businesses should bear the "appropriate cost" of the operations counter to those costs that "are not levied by the foreign source" is ridiculous. It sounds as if Mr. totty is in favor of more protectionism and mercantilism to retaliate against the tide of foreign mercantilism and protectionism. Is he in favor of warring tensions with all the protectionistic measures erected in place? So far, that's what it sounds like.

Then Mr. totty notes:

"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."

Mr. totty, many Americans may say that business is "its own problem" but not all believe this. My article did not say that business "is its own problem." What my article did say was that farmers (and this can be applied to any business outside of farming) have no moral and legal right to farm subsidies. They have no more moral right to enjoy said subsidies than they have a right to enjoy lobbying for trade controls and other various forms of protectionism.

The problem with your argument is that you say that most Americans "readily admit that they want more while giving less for any particular product." While there are Americans who would enjoy such trade-offs, there are no studies or even any shred of evidence which would support your case. What is the basis of your claim? What "facts and figures" have you gotten from other online sources, Mr. totty?

In fact, Mr. totty, there are many more Americans who would rather pay less for the products they purchase WITHOUT subsidies and WITHOUT tariffs than those who would pay more for the same goods with said subsidies and tariffs. If government spending were repealed (most of the spending is unconstitutional), taxes were repealed (just about every single tax is unconstitutional), regulations were repealed (from occupational licensure to wage and price controls), and subsidies were no longer doled out, the market place would work once again. The free market place is all about efficiency as well as responding to consumer needs and demand. It's that simple. It doesn't take rocket science (or even brain surgery) to figure that out.

The subsidies prevent market actors (entrepreneurs) from discovering what the real costs would be in relation to supply and demand. They allow too many goods to be produced when there is no consumer demand for them. You can spout out tariffs (although they are not any help at all), treaties (they are also part of the problem), and trade agreements (another part of the problem), but they don't change the fact that they are all working in collaboration for the needs of a protected group and working against the needs of the consumers and unprotected groups.

As for the Cheech and Chong analogy, I shall disregard that, as it is totally absurd from beginning to end.

Then Mr. totty writes:

"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?"

That model introduced was based upon a model I examined on a website called SubsidiesKill.org. In fact, you can find this model at this URL: http://www.subsidieskill.org/subsidies.htm.

Consumers would rather pay $6 for Company A's toy, but they realize that they will have to pay $9 for it. Company B's toys are cheaper than Company A's toy, yet the government bails out Company A, providing the business with lavish subsidies. Company A makes a profit by selling its toy for $9 by flooding the market with its item, but depresses the price to $3. It's the taxpayers who are shelling out $6 for it, but the kids are paying $3 for it. Of course I erred when I said that company B makes the item for $7 and sells it for $6. Actually, I should have said that it makes the item for $7 and sells it for $8. With that in mind, consumers would rather pay $8 for Company A's item than the $9 it wants to charge. My apologies for the error in the figure there.

In actuality, Company A is making $9 in total ($6 complimentary of taxpayers, $3 from the kids who buy the item). It's that simple. And Company B suffers.

While I do enjoy this lovely debate, it is obvious that Mr. totty agrees that subsidies are wrong, but his take on tariffs and treaties needs a lot of further evaluation and understanding.

Todd Andrew Barnett

From http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html


More of the immense idiocy that permeates our government schools. This one comes from Ft. Worth, Texas. We take you to the Diamond Hill—Jarvis High School. A student at Diamond Hill has been suspended for "transporting weapons to school in his vehicle." And just what was the weapon this student had in his car ... the weapon that was clearly visible through the windows of the car? Why, it was a baseball bat. It wasn't the kind of baseball bat you would take to the plate at some Little League baseball game. It wasn't the type of bat you would use, with great pleasure I would hope, to beat the ever-loving dog squeeze out of a burglar you find in your home in the middle of the night. No ... this "weapon" was a baseball bat that had broken off an award trophy. It was 8-inches long.

The student who brought this dangerous weapon to school has been suspended. School officials are now considering whether or not to expel him from the school permanently.

These are the very same government schools to which we are sending our children to learn critical thinking skills. Did I say "thinking?" Would any of you businessmen or women out there like to have in your employ someone so dense that they would consider an 8" baseball bat as a dangerous weapon worth of a student's suspension? These things are handed out at baseball stadiums as "bat night" prizes, and these idiots at Diamond Hill consider them to be weapons? Consider the parking lot monitor who spied this dangerous weapon through the window of the student's car. What kind of an incompetent void-surrounded-by-a-sphincter-muscle must this person be? Here is someone who is truly unqualified to work for anyone other than government.

Be sure to send your congratulations to the wonderful administrators of the Ft. Worth Independent School District today. They need to know how much you appreciate the great job they're doing teaching our children how to cope and thrive in the real world.

Frank Ney
United Airlines Must Die! http://www.dont-fly.com
Abuses by the BATF http://www.elfie.org/~croaker/batfabus.html

Re: http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/tle270-20040509-02.html

In his article, "Torturing the Truth", L Neil tortures the truth by stating: "That truth is simply this: it isn't the Moslems who came to the west to push us around, steal our resources, sneer at our customs and beliefs, depose our leaders and replace them with puppets, reshape our political institutions, or redraw our national borders to suit their own foul purposes. No, that's what we Europeanoids have been doing to them.

Get this through your head right now, because it's not going to go away, no matter how much you may hate being compelled to recognize it. It's a fact that will largely determine the shape of the 21st century. Americans and Europeans are the aggressors in this conflict, and what happened in New York on September 11, 2001, was an act of long-delayed retaliation."

A few years ago, L Neil detracted me for buying into the idea of collective guilt. It was shortly after 9/11, and a family friend was on one of the hijacked flights. I was fully in favor of making the rubble bounce all over Afghanistan, arguing that muslim society is so extensively infected by Andalusian Romanticism, Islamist racism, hate, and built-in Quranic endorsements of violence against non-muslims that the muslim world needed the same cognitive shock done to it that the Germans and Japanese were subjected to last century that made them into such peace-loving societies.

The problem with L Neils piece is that it spouts the same sort of principle of collective guilt, only against America, Americans, and Western Civilization in general.

"Don't misunderstand me. I'm not one of those liberal detractors of Western Civilization we hear of from time to time, mostly from their entrenched positions within academia. I happen to like most aspects of Western Civilization. The problem is, what this government is doing in Iraq and Cuba is not what Western Civilization is supposed to be all about. In fact, it represents a hideous slide backward into the Dark Ages. "

On the contrary, I believe that liberal detractors of Western Civilization would repel at the idea of being forced to live in a non-western society, without its latte, deconstructionism, blaming the victim, historical revisionism, and communist dominated intelligentsia. You certainly don't see Noam Chomsky taking up a residency at Kmer Rouge University, as much as he likes to apologize for them. You don't see Jeanine Garafolo making movies in Baliwood. You won't find Michael Moore making rude and falsehood-ridden exposes in Riyadh. And don't ask Jon Stewart to try his schtick broadcasting on al Arabiya television, ripping into various middle eastern regiemes (assuming they let his secular jewish butt in the door).

These people feel free to verbally tear down our civilization specifically because they know we'll never exile them to the sort of rotten hell-holes they pretend to stand up for and want us to become more like. These detractors, as much as they like to define miniscule distinctions between words in their deconstructions, like many fellow Libertarians I come across these days, are acting, it seems, in willful ignorance of the Laws of War, the Geneva Conventions, and the glaring facts about illegal combatants they define.

Illegal Combatants are simply NOT protected by ANY Constitution, any Treaty, any International Law, Convention, Agreement, Protocol, or any other standard accepted or adopted by any government anywhere at any time in history. Period. All they are promised under the Geneva Converntions is that at some point in time (with no guarantee of speedy trial) they will be brought in front of a military tribunal to hear the evidence against them before they are either released with time served, or sentenced to more prison time, or simply executed.

These are the risks you take when you refuse to follow the Laws of War and commit even such minor war crimes as not wearing a uniform, attacking civilians, or hiding behind or among civilians. Those choosing to engage in guerilla warfare against an organized enemy, or terrorism against civilians, must be willing to accept those risks, and we, as a civilized society, must have the stomach to impose the proper penalties upon those who commit such behavior, else our society will descend into the sort of internecine chaos that statists tend to equate with libertarians and anarchists.

Revolutionary Theory, developed and perfected by Marxists in the last century, is structured specifically in order to attack liberalized societies, turning their strengths into weaknesses, and forcing the populace to choose either chaos or fascism. As L Neil himself recognised in his fine novel "The American Zone", the more free a society is, the less it is capable of dealing with insurgencies and terrorism intent on forcing fascism upon a society.

And fascism IS what the Islamists want to force on us, just as they want to force it on their own people. They hate everything western, from the clothes, mores, movies and soda pop, to its principles of individual liberty and secular governance. Is their culture under attack by ours? It certainly is, but it is under *cultural* attack, as muslim kids want blue jeans, coca-cola, Hollywood movies, and the right to be Mirandized when pulled over for speeding. As muslim women seek the right to be educated beyond just reading the Quran, have some control over their own reproductivity, and be employed outside the home, their aspirations threaten the fascism of Islamists everywhere.

Does L Neil endorse the right of Islamists to kill 3,000 people in New York and DC as a proportionate response to our 'fascism' of Levis blue jeans? I sure as hell hope not. The sort of "reshaping of political institutions" any self-described libertarian should be proud to do in the muslim world is EXACTLY the sort of reshaping that the Islamists are fighting against. Natural Rights do not end at the US border, and they don't evaporate just because people were born with brown skin under despotic regiemes and barbaric religious laws.

I'll ask here a question I've been asking of a number of "I've got mine, screw you" libertarians lately: by what rationale do you justify defending a woman on your street corner against rape, but refuse to stand up for the basic liberties of peace-loving people (not despotic insurgents) around the world? I distinguish between the two because they need to be distinguished between. The current reports are that the worst abuses in Iraqi prisons by US troops were reserved for actual known members of the Hussein regieme, individuals who have been hardened by decades of their own, far more heinous, mistreatment of fellow Iraqis.

What our government is doing in Iraq and Cuba is disturbing, and should be disturbing to freedom-loving people everywhere. But it is not happening in a vacuum, the people who are there are not innocent (Don't you know, every man in prison proclaims his innocence), no matter what they and Al Jazeera would like you to believe.

Mike Lorrey

[Mr. Smith replies in the next article in this issue of TLE—Mr. Ed]

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