L. Neil Smith's
Number 292, October 10, 2004

"It's not what it is. It's what it means."

[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 J. Neil Schulman

Letter from Ron Beatty

Letter from Frank Ney

Another letter from Ron Beatty

Letter from Steve Trinward


The Cybercity Radio show for Saturday, August 28, 2004 (Show #376, guests: Robert Schneider, Michael Badnarik, L. Neil Smith, Paul Guay) is posted on the Cybercity Radio archives. You can listen to or download it by clicking here:


Note: If you're using Netscape, right mouseclick the link and save the file before playing it locally with Windows Media Player. Netscape sometimes won't bring up an associated player but treats .wma files as text.

J. Neil Schulman

Okay, I've finished the series on the Bill of Rights, even though I wasn't able to go into as much detail as I would have liked on some of the amendments. I've put a few new articles in for Ken to look over, but does anyone have any suggestions for future articles? As for me, I like doing the series articles, especially on things that are as important as the Bill of Rights, but as a writer, I also want to reach my audience on issues that matter to them, as well.

Any suggestions are gratefully appreciated, even though I will not promise to use any particular one, since any ideas you offer may spark something else that strikes a chord.


Ron Beatty

Re: "I Refuse", by James J Odle

You see, as far as our national politicians and bureaucrats are concerned, it wasn't Lon Horiuchi's fault for shooting Vickie Weaver while she was holding a baby in her arms. Lon only followed orders like a good little robot and pulled the trigger. It was Vickie Weaver's fault for standing in the way of the bullet! Now, if Vickie had only ducked....

Believe it or not, top-level bureaucrats actually 'think' this way.

They're not the only ones.

This past New Year's Eve, at the intersection of Lark and State Streets in Albany, NY, two Albany police officers opened fire on a DWI suspect that was (their story) attempting to run over them. None of the shots hit the car, but one bullet did hit (and kill) an innocent bystander.

On the occasion of the Grand Jury cutting those two officers loose, the son of a Bethlehem police officer opined that the dead man deserved to die, as "he was too stupid to duck." I live in fear of the day this man enters the academy. Unfortunately, I suspect there are quite a few people already carrying badges and guns who are of the same opinion.

Frank Ney

Not too long ago, I was re-reading the 'Hardyville' articles on the Backwoods Home website, and realized that if we could just combine L. Neil Smith and Claire Wolfe, we would have the perfect spokesperson for libertarian beliefs. Neil has the hardheaded approach, basically hitting you right in the face with the truth, while Claire is a little different. Claire suckerpunches you with humor and satire. (Not that Neil doesn't put plenty of humor in his books, just a different kind). I strongly encourage those of you who have not read Claire's articles and essays to do so. Many of them are linked through Backwoods Home, especially the Hardyville articles.

I especially encourage reading the "Law in Hardyville" article, and also "Little Ladies War on Terror"

Right alongside Heinlein's Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Neil's Probability Broach and Pallas, Claire deserves a place of honor on a libertarian bookshelf.


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Ron Beatty

Re: "Letter from Scott Graves"

Scott Graves offers a new "silver bullet"—to win, "Get 20 people registered to vote as Libertarians by 2006."

There are several problems with this:

1. In some states (Tennessee, for example) there is no party registration to be had; voters register as Independents, and vote however they choose (pick a party primary on Primary Day, it does not change you whatsoever);

2. In some states (Oklahoma springs to mind), the ballot status barriers are so high they fail to achieve them, and without party status, there is no voter status, either;

3. In somes states (e.g., California?) they already have a buttload of people registered as "Libertarian" ... trouble is, most of them don't even vote that way except by accident. In fact by my reading the LPC has done less work in getting LP votes out of longstanding ballot-status than any other state in the LP.

Getting people to register to vote, and then showing them the LP candidate is the best and only choice they have ... that's a good plan ...

Merely registering more voters with an "L" beside their names (part of which is assuring them they are NOT endorsing the LP?) is not showing to be productive, except where it results in ballot access for our candidates.

Selling the message, to independents and the non-voting who are already enrolled, is a far more useful approach, IMO

Peace, Love and Liberty,
Steve Trinward
Editor, Rational Review News Digest

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