L. Neil Smith's
Number 319, May 15, 2005

"The End of America"

[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 EJ Totty

Letter from Frank Ney

Letter from Doug Heard

Letter from Adam J. Bernay

Letter from Ron Beatty

Re.: "Why there is a Second Amendment", by Ron Beatty http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle318-20050508-03.html


Excellent points!

But, I have maintained for a very long time: What you go out of your way to fight, you will become. The corollary is that if you roll in the mud with the pigs, you'll end up acting like a pig.

Case(s) in point:

  • Fighting the NAZIs—the US has become Hitler's dream.

  • Fighting the Communists—The US is more communistic than the former USSR.

  • Fighting Drugs—This culture is so drug ridden as to be the very epitome of what it accuses 'druggies' to be. In fact, mandatory drugging of children is now the norm. Forced drugging of adults can't be far behind.

  • Fighting Terror—You know the story here. The absolute mightiest terror organization on the planet is the USG. What other nation currently has troops stationed in over 50 countries around the world?

  • Fighting Fat—look around you!

Need I go on?

In virtually none of the above, was it necessary for the US Gov. to become involved in any way, manner, fashion, shape, or form.

It's the special interests which have taken special interest in still other special interests.

EJ Totty

Re: "Launch Technology", by Jim Davidson http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle318-20050508-05.html

How many times did I say that the X-Prize was a honey trap?

I didn't happen the way I envisioned it (yet), but it still happened. We now have a working private suborbital vehicle, a commercial airline willing to fund space tourism, and yet again NASA getting in the way letting other government agencies carry their water this time.

How many times does L. Neil Smith have to say it before it gets tattooed on the inside of your eyelids? The only way we're going to get into space is to get rid of NASA. I say turn NASA-HQ into low-rent housing, decorate D Street lamp posts with the idiots responsible for Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia, and sell KSC and Vandemberg to people who have grown some stones. Jim Davidson, Burt Rutan, and Richard Branson, for example.

Otherwise, get ready to live on this piece of rock that is rapidly turning into a bad movie treatment of 1984 without the redeeming social importance.

Frank Ney
United Airlines Must Die!
Abuses by the BATF

Neil I rarely disagree with you but here I think you are wrong.

I know a few liberterians who believe that the "whole" Islamic world is attacking us. If they believe that then Iraq is guilty of agression as is Saudi etc. But I see that as an individual judgement call. Those people who think attacking all Islamic countries is a response to 9/11, being different from those who think attacking Iraq is a response to 9/11.

I certainly agree that the war is illegal. If they believe that way the proper response would have been debate and a "declaration of war" from congress.

I believe that people that feel that Islam is the same type of evil as Nazisum can be both libertarian and pro-war as long as they are consistent. That doesn't rule out either stupid or insane. So while I don't agree with them as long as they are consistent I accept that we have a judgement difference.

Doug Heard

Ken (and, as importantly, Mr. Smith):

I wanted to comment on the review of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I agree wholeheartedly with what is said in this review, but I don't think you go far enough. Not only is this wonderfully funny entertainment, it has some great libertarian insights along the way, especially these three:

1) Those who don't pay attention to government are victimized by it (aka John Philpot Curran's formulation—paraphrased later by Thomas Jefferson, "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."). This is seen first in the British government's destroying Arthur Dent's home for road construction and he didn't know about it because he didn't stay abreast of governmental affairs, and then this is repeated when the Vogons destroy Earth and say that the Terrans could've complained but they, likewise, didn't stay abreast of governmental affairs (there is even more hilarious detail in the book).

2) Most immensely popular politicians are not elected because they are good leaders but because they are viewed as "handsome" or "cool" or whatever. Obviously, no thinking populace would elect Zaphod Beebelbrox president of their local Star Trek fan club, let alone of the entire Galaxy.

3) The bigger government gets, the more moronic the bureaucracy becomes. We see this on the Vogon homeworld with their endless lines and forms (a swipe directly at the idiocies of the British social democracy, but applicable to all large governments).

I found myself thinking while I was watching the film, "Douglas Adams must've been a libertarian, or close to it." I don't know that for a fact, but his writing certainly indicates it.

Adam J. Bernay

For once, Hillary Clinton has said something I totally agree with. I'm still in shock from this, but wanted to make my comments right now, before I have time to think it over.

"You cannot have peace when half the people can... decide how the other half lives."

Senator Clinton was talking about the plight of women in the Islamic republics, but these remarks are just as true when talking about our society. When either wing of the political spectrum can enforce its dictates on the rest of society by a simple majority vote, you have set the stage for chaos and civil war. When the "Radical Right", the "Christian Coalition", or what have you, can force other people who don't share those views to live in accordance with them, you have set the stage for violence. In short, anytime one segment of society can force the rest to follow the dictates, moral code, or even just the loudly expressed opinions of that segment, you have lit the fuse on a huge powderkeg of hatred, stress, and violence.

I strongly urge all those who have decided to try to force their beliefs on a society that doesn't share them, think, reflect. How would you feel if you were forced to live in accordance with dictates that you didn't share, believe in, or want?

Please, think about it.

Ron Beatty

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