L. Neil Smith's
Number 294, October 24, 2004

"Scare the crap out of the statists!"

Why “Liberty” Magazine Isn’t
by Alan R. Weiss

Exclusive to TLE

As a frequent contributor in energy, effort, time, and money to the Badnarik for President campaign (I also gave a nominating speech for him in Atlanta), I was pretty shocked at how "Liberty" magazine tried to make Badnarik look, at best, like a stooge or idiot and at worst like a fellow-traveler of some neo-nazi.

For those who didn't see it, "Liberty" claimed that Michael Badnarik is a friend of Rick Stanley (he is), and that Rick Stanley is an anti-semitic neo-nazi. Nice touch, wouldn't you say? Lets paint them both as nazi-sympathizers, goose-stepping Aryan warriors. Too bad its not true.

In Rick's own words to me, when I asked him directly if he's anti-semitic, he responded:

"Truly nonsense. Yesterday at church, I asked the Jewish Pastor, who is a servant of Jesus Christ, to give the sermon he just related to the "Church in the City" in Denver, Colorado, to my radio show in a few weeks, when he returns from a mission in Argentina. If I am anti-Jewish, why would I do this? I have personal friends who are Jewish. I have personal friends who are homosexual. I dislike their sin, I do not hate the person. All Jews are sinners, as are we all. (that you will notice includes me and you). As we are all sinners, no "group" is better or worse, than another. We are all equal. However, anyone not receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior is of this world, which is of satan. I am not anti-Semite, I am anti-sin. I have never advocated the killing of Jews."

So it seems that Rick Stanley is simply a good Christian, who hates the sin and, if not loves, then tolerates the sinner, and has never advocated the killing of Jews.

Mike Badnarik happens to be my friend, and that's one thing friends don't do—they don't piss on their friends in public. "Liberty" tried to get Mike to distance himself and discredit a friend, in this case Rick Stanley. Mike, to his credit, was having none of it.

"Liberty", and the author of this "article", Dave Kopel, should have had the guts to have called or written Rick Stanley and asked them about their "concerns", but it seems "Liberty" magazine's main concern is screwing up the Libertarian Party these days. First they bleat and scream (and rightly) about how Harry Browne and his cohort screwed up and stole money, but when they finally get an honest candidate in there—one that is radically and unapologetically pro-liberty—they can't help but tear him down, too.

With friends like these, who the hell needs the "Washington Post?" Libertarians are famous for chewing on their own. Division is what the enemy uses against us to keep us weak.

No one expects "Liberty" to be the organ of the Libertarian Party, nor an unjudging, syncophantic propaganda fluff-rag. But all libertarians should expect, and demand, that they go long on fact checking and short on unsubstantiated opinions.

As for Rick's answers: they're OK. I'm not a devout Christian (although I understand the belief and the mindset), so it doesn't really hit my hot buttons, but that's not the point. I respect anyone who believes what they believe so long as they follow the Zero Aggression Principle. Whether or not you believe in the Messiah-hood of Jesus Christ, or not, we all believe in liberty. Tom Paine (atheist) and Patrick Henry (Christian) worked together with (Quaker) Benjamin Franklin and (Jew) Haym Soloman for liberty's sake. Michael Badnarik is an Objectivist, and he has lots of Christian friends—like Rick Stanley.

If Rick Stanley says he's not calling for a new American holocaust, then he's not. Which is good, 'cause as a member of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) and the Texas State Rifle Association, no one's coming after me and gonna live to tell the tale. And guess what? Rick's not advocating that. In a world that has L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman and Rick Stanley and Mike Badnarik and Alan R. Weiss in it, we're all armed, polite to each other, and work together when it strikes us to keep liberty alive. We don't call for holy jihads, and we take pains not to offend each other while offending the enemies of liberty as much as possible.

I respect that Rick is "anti-sin", as he puts it. Since we're all "sinners", we all need to work towards improving ourselves and reducing sin, however you as an individual defines it. We can start with the sin of abandonment of friends.

"Are you my friend, Wyatt Earp."

"Yes. Yes I am, Doc."

As for an orchestrated campaign against Rick Stanley: I believe it. Divide and conquer is very effective.

Now, I happen to think Rick's been foolhardy and has gone where few have followed, and may have shot off his ammo too soon. I don't believe that directly challenging the State is going to spark a 2nd American Revolution. Not yet. That's just my opinion. But no one can question Rick's devotion to principle and liberty, can they? Rick Stanley must scare the crap out of the statists. He must really scare "Liberty" magazine.

Somehow, I can't help but thinking that's a good thing.

Meanwhile, Rick Stanley is in jail. When Hunter (you all know who I mean) was arrested, there were all sorts of campaigns to raise funds for his defense. After all, it was a bullshit weapons-carrying charge, and we all knew in our hearts that Hunter was guilty of nothing. Rick Stanley threated to call out the militia on two judges that were violating his constitutional rights (note that I'm right—the militia never responded, and that was that). He was directly challenging the authority of these courts to arrest him for a law that has since been revoked. Where's the outreach to a fellow patriot? Every movement needs its Tom Paine's, its Sam Adams', and so on (even as it needs its Soloman's and Washington's). Isn't there a place for such a man?

Alan Weiss is Economics Editor for TLE and NetPlanetNews.com


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