L. Neil Smith's
Number 322, June 5, 2005

"We have met the enemy, and he is us."—Pogo

[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 John Taylor

Letter from Warren Tilson

Letter from John Wiltbank

Letter from J. Barber

Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Boris Karpa


(1) http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle321-20050529-08.html
(2) http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html

According to ref. (2) above (specifically Art. I, Section 10, paragraph 1), contracts entered into by two people may not be impaired by either the congress or the courts—by inference.

From where I stand, the very best that may be obtained through a court of law is negation of such contract as has been entered into, but certain not the inclusion of a party into an aspect such that an obligation is encumbered.

Maybe you'll read that differently?

EJ Totty

I note with approval (since I agree) Lady Liberty's favorable linkage of Minority Report and Total Recall, both reviewed positively. These two movies share a common thread (as they do with Blade Runner, Paycheck, Screamers, and—oh joy!—the forthcoming films A Scanner Darkly and Next.

That link, of course, is that they are all based, more or less faithfully, on stories by Philip Kindred Dick, one of my five favorite authors of 'science fiction' (loosely-bound definition of the phrase).

Dick has been treated relatively well by Hollywood, which I find somewhat surprising—in that they would treat anyone well who was as, shall we say, "out of the mainstream" as was Dick. Certainly he's been treated better—and more faithfully than has The Admiral, to my continuing sadness.

I'm glad you liked those movies; I contend that what you like is Dick's relentless anti-authority message and his perception of just how Lord Acton's warning might manifest itself some day—some day soon, as you perceptively note.

Was Dick paranoid? Heck yes; he was as nutty as a Claxton fruitcake. But was he right? Well, as they say, "just 'cause you're paranoid doesn't mean someone's not out to getcha'!"

John Taylor

Mr. Bernay must have not understood the content of my letter due to his wearing of a wishful thinking cap. The same one he must have been wearing when he watched HHGTTG.

So that he understands I will type this very slowly and avoid using big words.

There are many movies and TV shows in which the idiocy of the state is used as a plot device. HHGTTG is one of them. The reason this device is used so often is that idiotic or evil government is familiar to people.

Government is big and stupid but people using their wits and being persistent can get around the worst of the abuses, and save the day.

This just shows what people know to be true. It does not show what people can do to be better off. There is no impulse to change things other than in some minor way to "reform" the government.

If you want a movie to be "libertarian" there must be a cry for freedom. Some attempt made to end the pernicious assault on liberty that is government.

There was no such thing in HHGTTG. Not one iota of a spark of a thought of an idea that one does not need government or that one has the right to get rid of it.

Instead of getting the message that "government is bad", theater goers got the message "See, we're not so bad off. Look what they have to deal with."

In that sense it could be said to be an anti-libertarian movie. "You have no right to complain since your situation is so much better than theirs. Just go about your business and don't worry bout nothin'" and worse "Even if we get to space, we won't be able to escape government (so why go at all)."

Do you suppose that any non-libertarian walked out of a showing of HHGTTG with any more interest in freedom and liberty thatn he had before seeing the film? I seriously doubt it.

The message was not strong enough, in fact I say no message was intended.

This film did not change anybody's convictions it did nothing to advance the cause of liberty and may have even set the cause back.

And that is nothing to celebrate by any thinking person. Even a ten year old should understand that.

Warren Tilson

P.S. I'll be away from the Internet for the next two issues of TLE so I'll not be immediately able to respond to your insults and poor thinkmanship during that time.

Adventures in Draft Dodging

Several years ago, I wrote a letter to The Libertarian Enterprise (Number 66, February 29, 2000) about my correspondence with some slavemongers. To summarize, these jokers kept heckling me, and their junk mail was filling up my parents' trash can, so I finally gave in and replied to them. I sent them a letter about how I'd sign their thing, but wouldn't agree to anything. And about how evil they were. Thought that was a nice touch.

Today I want to follow up on the outcome of my actions. I received a letter back from an S.S. associate, stating that due to my stipulations, I had not registered with the draft as required by such-and-such and that I needed to do so ASAP. I was pretty excited to see some slimy son of a bureaucrat had actually read my letter, or at least gotten the gist of it. Needless to say, his friendly advice went unheeded.

Now, five years later, nothing has happened. I have received traffic tickets and even been arrested. The goons ran my name through databases. Never has the matter of my felonious status come up. No one has contacted me any further.

According to draftresistance.org, "Over 3 million names have been referred by the Selective Service System to the Justice Department for possible prosecution for violation of the Military Selective Service Act (failure to register). 3 million. They have prosecuted 13 people since 1980. What are they going to do, build concentration camps? Your chances of being struck by lightning are better than your chances of being prosecuted for refusing to register. The 3 million men referred to the Justice Department are called 'hard core' resisters by Selective Service. They received 3 or 4 warning letters (bluffs) from the Selective Service and still blew them off. Millions more are in violation of the law for moving and not re-registering. This law has the highest rate of non-compliance since the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s."

I hope this will strongly encourage all you young readers to not register. Come on, even the common sheeple ignore this nonsense; what kind of libertarian are you if you docilely comply? The chances of bad consequences are extremely low. To put things in perspective, driving a car carries an exponentially greater risk of jail time or other violations of your freedom. Look at me: I made an unwise, grandstanding gesture that could only have drawn attention to myself and got me put on some list. Despite this, the fodder-herders still have not come out to arrest me.

No reader of TLE should ever submit to be a slave of the state. Don't send an angry reply like me, just simply ignore the missives. Tear them up, light them up, and have a fiery little celebration upon each solicitation's arrival. Don't read them. If you're feeling scared, just remember: as far as the swamplords know, you're a good little slave who'd just love to join up, it's just that you moved three months ago and they'll have to get your forwarding address somehow. People move all the time.

Actually, it would be useful to ask yourself what horrible privacy mistakes you made to enable them to mail you these things in the first place. For the future, here's a hint: never, never write down your home address, and never, never let anyone know your home address unless you trust him, and even then only if there's a good reason to let him know. Certainly do not give the government schools your address. If they already have it, it's because you gave it to them. Think back to the first day of school. You filled out that form, didn't you? Whoops! What were you thinking? Be clever, be sneaky, and supply them with some new and improved information. There's nothing dishonest about this; you're just saying you want them to contact you using such-and-such info, and indeed you do. This will also prove useful when you run afoul of school discipline, which, as a libertarian in a prison environment, you quite likely will. Get a voicemail-box and copy the recording on your home answering machine onto it. This will be your phone number to give to the school. You will be so glad you did. ("Boy, isn't anyone ever home at this kid's house? Oh well, we'll have to leave another message.")

In conclusion, declare your independence and ignore the draft. Do you want to be the American version of some jackbooted S.S. Nazi stormtrooper, murdering whole households and drowning your captives? Just Say Nein!

John Wiltbank

Mr. Holder:

I've watched the local (Minneapolis) media coverage of the national spelling bee that was recently held. One thing, to me anyway, was notably absent: the competitors' schools. In the past, the names of the winners' (and most participants) schools were made known. Not so this time.

The recent geography bee was won by a home-schooled young man—a well spoken one at that; so much for the old argument about lacking social skills.

I couldn't help but wonder if the teachers' unions in the area or even the public schools, themselves, have asked the media to be silent regarding the participants' education. Perhaps the public schools are tired of being embarrassed at losing? I admit that I'm guessing, and haven't researched the story from other sources. It did strike me as being a bit strange, though.

J. Barber
***[Can you post this without my email address? It's a work address, and I'd rather it didn't appear on the website. Thanks]

Dear Editor,

Mr. Bernay has moved well beyond civility into name-calling, jingoistic doggerel and atavistic, mawkish adumbration. So, it behooves me to write calmly in my reply, since only one of us is going to.

To his credit, he starts with mere jingoistic doggerel, "this country is the greatest system for preserving liberty in the recent history of man." One wonders how many countries Mr. Bernay has bothered to visit, live in, or read about. Amsterdam does a better job of preserving a great many liberties, and Somalis manage to live quite well without any central government.

In the recent history of "this country," the USA has imprisoned American citizens without trial or writ of habeas corpus, has refused them counsel, has tortured prisoners, has imposed excessive bail, has forcibly prevented the free exercise of all the liberties in the Bill of Rights, including free speech, free press, and the right to keep and bear arms, and goes right on doing so under the Republican administration which, I dare say, Mr. Bernay probably voted for. I'd like Mr. Bernay to identify one liberty that has been preserved.

As to freedom and prosperity, the USA is barely top ten material. Bernay claims, "the Constitution still enables us to live freer and more prosperous than just about any other nation on the planet...," whereas Estonia and nine other countries are ranked as more free than the USA by the conservative, American, Heritage Foundation. Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Ireland, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Switzerland are all more free, all without the supposed benefit of "the Constitution," and all without Senators who unanimously pass the RealID bill. Every single Republican Senator, Mr. Bernay, every Senator from your party voted for that bill. Get yer ear tag, Mr. Bernay, and smile at the sky. Maybe for the sake of your heritage, when they come to tattoo your RealID on your forearm, you'll think about what you've lost.

In his continuing jingoism, Mr. Bernay says, "I can never forget that this country has enabled us to live without true fear of being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps." Really. Tell it to the Nisei, please, if you have the guts to look into their eyes when you do. Ten thousand Japanese Americans died in the concentration camps, and you did nothing.

Then in his descent into name-calling, Mr. Bernay says that I'm paranoid. I think being handcuffed and then beaten by a police officer, kicked in the face and ribs until eleven of my bones were broken and one of my lungs damaged is more than enough evidence to convince me that I have realistic fears of a police state.

I stopped believing in the system in 1991 when I was arrested on false charges of felony gambling promotion of a lottery and my space travel service was destroyed by the government, even though I had made arrangements for a lawful sweepstakes and even though I had offered to pull the plug on the project if the National Space Council would only have one of their staffers (a man known to me, Courtney Stadd - who received my phone call making this offer) contact me by phone or fax. The government did not need to arrest me to destroy my business, but they chose to do so, and I shall never forgive any of the men involved.

Mr. Bernay asserts, falsely, and vilely, that I am only pointing to laws. He's not interested in facts, or in any experience but his own.

He doesn't see the police state that imprisons cannabis users in contravention of the laws of their state, in spite of the federalism of the constitution, and he won't ever see it. Maybe if a police officer inflicted a spinal cord injury on Mr. Bernay, and he needed the anti-spasmodic features of cannabis, he'd change his tune.

I don't say that the police are coming for us tomorrow. I say they are ear tagging y'all today. They have already come for me on more than one occasion. Next time will only be different in outcome, owing to my unwillingness to submit ever again.

Having seen the boot kicking my glasses off, which, happily, made seeing the rest of my assault under official oppression more difficult, I can say that the danger is very close. Mr. Bernay won't admit it, won't hear it, won't listen, and deserves every kick in the crotch the jackbooted thugs inflict upon him.

The government cannot be repaired because it isn't broken. It is functioning as a total state of authoritarian power. The government of the constitution was eliminated in 1860, which several of the states noticed, and replaced with a dictatorship. Abraham Lincoln affirmed his dictatorial tendencies by declaring war on the seceding states - which were exercising their power to secede as reserved to them by the 10th Amendment. The government cannot be repaired because it has been designed to operate as an absolute authority in all things.

As to my fleeing, I'm right here, Mr. Bernay. I'm not going anywhere. Why not stop by some time? Be polite though, as I don't mind telling guests to leave, and once you've been asked to leave, you become a trespasser. I don't treat trespassers gently.

As to his invitation to join him in any group, I suggest he fold his invitation until it is all sharp outside corners and repeatedly abuse every one of his orifices. If I don't see his blood on the invitation, I won't take it seriously. Calling me paranoid and claiming that I am fleeing his hardly a sales tactic intended to support much recruitment.

As to carping from the sidelines, I'm not. I have done more for liberty in my life than he'll ever know or understand. I don't care to justify myself to him, so I won't bother to mention any of these things. He'll be "most gratified" if I stop responding to his idiocy, but I'll reserve the freedom to do as I please.

As to his welcome to his country as he sees it, he has done nothing to make me feel welcome. His insults, jingoistic doggerel and mawkish adumbrations are beyond the pale. He is a vicious little jerk who should be abused by the police until he reforms, and in a just world, he would be.


Jim Davidson

Friends! Netizens! I am addressing this letter to all those who care about liberty. About freedom of speech. Of expression. Of protest. I am writing you because there are some who might soon not be able to write anymore. The bloggers of Iran.

"What?"—you exclaim—"Iran has a blogosphere?" No. It doesn't. But not because the Iranians are too poor or ignorant for computers —but because the Iranian government is busy stomping it out. Right up until June, 2004, Iran had a flowering Internet community. Five million users. 100,000 bloggers. And then...

[quote]But last June the Iranian judiciary put in place a more sophisticated filtering system that blocks Iranian access to political Web sites and blogs. (Derakhshan's traffic immediately dropped by half.) Then in September, officials got serious, arresting, interrogating, and even jailing some of the country's bloggers, according to human rights groups. Two of those writers, Mojtaba Saminejad and Mohammad Reza Nasab Abdolahi, remain in prison. [/quote]

Let me explain to you what this means. You may blame Bush of being a "dictator.' You may call the EU a "police state". But whatever your political position is - those countries are still a pale imitation of this. The FBI and the GSC are not knocking or your door. Mojtaba Saminejad and Mohammad Reza Nasab are now in prison —because they live in a real police state. They may be tortured. Or starving. We don't know.

Those two people went to prison because they believed in freedom. Do you believe in freedom? Do you believe, well and truly, that Mojtaba Saminejad and Mohammad Reza Nasab deserve to be free? Now tell me—why are Mojtaba Saminejad and Mohammad Reza Nasab unable to speak—yet Sayyeed Ali Khameinei—their torturer and prison guard—is able to maintain his voice?

His site—http://www.leader.ir/—has not been shut down. He is not in prison. He is walking free and eating well even as his victims suffer.

Friends, here is my offer. A month from now, at 3 ET, June 17th, 2005, we silence Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

It can be done simply—log on to http://www.leader.ir/ at that time—and reload your browser multiple times. This would have the effects of a true DNS attack—and yet it is fully legal. You may if you wish send an email to your closest media outlet about this .We should be heard. Mr. Saminejad and Mr. Nasab should be heard. Sayeed Ali Khameinei, their torturer, should just shut the fuck up.

Please check for news at:


Boris Karpa

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