L. Neil Smith's
Number 343, October 30, 2005

 Tenth Anniversary Edition, Part 5 

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Curt Howland

Letter from E.J. Totty

Letter from Frank Ney

Another Letter from E.J. Totty

Letter from Seth Cohn

Letter from Thomas L. Knapp

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Boston T. Party

Letter from Another Letter from L. Neil Smith

Yet Another Letter from E.J. Totty

Regarding El Neil's "Herring of a different colour" (http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle342-20051023-02.html),

I think the reason your friend did not like the passages in Hope that refer to abortion, is because many people believe the considered termination of a pregnancy to be an issue so emotional that it cannot be rationally discussed.

This irrationality is demonstrated by many of those who publicly espouse their position either for or against the decision, providing the template by which others are formed in people minds if they dare to voice their opinion no matter how rationally they do so.

But really, what issue is left? Every issue is being formed into emotional terms by those who believe the state is the best arbiter for or against. Dare mention "bring the troops home" and your motivation is instantly assumed to be one of cowardice. Mention "support the troops", one is instantly assumed to be a rabid imperialist excusing every atrocity on the basis that it's not a atrocity because it's Americans this time.

There is a statement in Hope that has not had enough attention: "No, I will not tell you how I feel, I will tell you what I think." (paraphrased from memory)

Speaking of thinking, I think it's time E.J.Totty got his own reoccuring section of TLE, maybe entitled "Totty Touts" or "This Week with E.J."

Curt Howland

[Hum ... Mr. Totty? What about it?—Editor]

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken, and Neil,

Re.: "Herring of a different colour", by L. Neil Smith http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle342-20051023-02.html


In your latest to the TLE, you commented:

"There is nothing-nothing-that illegal immigrants can do to a county like America that is one percent as bad as what legislation persecuting illegal immigrants can do to it. (Exactly the same is true of laws against drugs and guns, but that's an argument for another day.) [...]"

Well, actually now that I consider the matter, all of what you mention equates to government without severe limits.

And, it matters not about drugs, or firearms (guns), or people who've crossed that imaginary line in the sand. In reality, they are all headings to be listed under that same subject: Government perfidy.

Actually, now that I reconsider the matter, the real heading should be: Control. Perfidy plays the part of willfully ignoring the words which delineate the actual limits of power that may be expressed, and those limits have been exceeded innumerable times.

But it is 'what's bad.'

I'm surprised though, that you didn't take the time to mention that all those illegals are here for something which they couldn't find in their own land of origin: A job, relatively more freedom, or to abscond with government provided largesse—or maybe all of those.

Why is it that that US seems to be such a powerhouse for employment?

If Mexico is such an unemployment nation, why is that?

Why is not Canada?

What is it with Mexico?

Now, I've pointed out in other places, that if all of those free money programs (social security, medicaid, medicare, etc., etc., etc.) didn't exist, why then the only people coming here would be those who genuinely were seeking a better way of life, and that includes employment.

There is that other possibility: To maybe get a chance to vote, in order to keep any more American adventurism from happening ...

I've also pointed out elsewhere, that the US seems to be some kind of magnet to Mexicans. I wonder: Why is not Canada? It's social programs are way more 'liberal' than anything in the US—at present ...

And, why is it that Canadian citizens aren't flocking south of the border to the US in the same number of droves as Mexicans—or other members of central and south Americas—or Asia?!

I consider that I may be able to answer that: A fair degree of anonymity my be had in this land—at present, that and taxes not collected by whatever government as a result of employers not declaring those employees. Follow the money ...

But, that still ignores the major impetus of why all those people desire to cross the imaginary line in the sand.

Other writers have pointed out exactly why, and it is precisely this: Ownership of private property.

How many Mexicans actually own private property, i.e., Real Estate? How many others does that question apply to as well, who come here 'illegally?'

Most men and women who own their own land, likely won't go anywhere, simply because they could raise what they need to survive. They might be 'dirt poor,' but at least they own the dirt under their feet, and likely have a roof over their respective heads.

The largest number of small businesses set up in the US are done so by immigrants who came here with less pocket money than the average American teenager, and it is that thought which frightens the hell out of those in government.

It frightens them, because most of those immigrants and their illegal cousins will work for less money than most anyone already here, and that means less collectable tax money for the government.

And it frightens them again, because the level of government spending needed to support the social programs already in existence will either fall, or not be funded at all as a result of receiving lesser tax money needed to keep them alive. It would be a political nightmare for the socialists: Lack of control.

Again: Follow the money—or where it would have gone.

Likely it is, that if government were to receive no money at all from any source, then no amount of interest would be expressed regarding whatever immigrant, legal or otherwise.

E.J. Totty

Re: "Terrorized by a T-shirt", by Derek A Benner http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle342-20051023-05.html

Two questions I have about this incident that I have been unable to find.

1. Was the pilot involved?

2. Did said pilot have a Federal Flight Deck Officer badge?

If the answer to both questions is yes, I call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of that pilot for civil rights violations. This is settled case law almost 40 years old: You may not abuse your badge to harass, arrest, incarcerate or otherwise issue street justice to someone who expresses a political view you don't like or don't agree with. IF that pilot has been blessed by Homeland Security to carry a gun, this is no longer a case of airline policy, it is a jackbooted thug stomping on the Bill of Rights.

A Denver police sergeant supposedly found this out the hard way earlier this year. I say "supposedly" because the Chief of the Denver Police never specified the disciplinary action that was taken against this pig who threatened a woman with arrest for refusal to remove the "Fuck Bush" bumper sticker from her vehicle. Which means the sergeant still has a badge and a gun and got an hour of sensitivity training instead of two years as prison bitch to the people he put behind bars.

High time we started holding those who steal authority to high standards. And hanging them from even higher standards when they screw the pooch. End of line.

Oh, and here's a funny one. http://jrgach.com/2005/10/ULoot_WeShoot.jpg [Swiped for this issue's cover funny—Editor]

Frank Ney

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Re.: "National groups won't let Kansas use materials in science standards", by John Hanna

This is very interesting!

Why is it, do you suppose, that two national organizations would seek to prohibit the use of their teaching materials, when used in conjunction with someone else's materials which happen to conflict with their own?

Does not the truth have no fear?

Or, is it that one brand of 'truth' cannot stand to face the real truth of the matter under discussion?

It would seem that primary school-aged children must of necessity be first brain-washed by state propaganda, and =then= allowed to view the works of yet others.

This could well be described as an exercise in 'opinion forming,' or it's a matter of who get's to that child's brain first!

It all boils down to just this: If what you stand for is just, and honorable, then nothing offered by whatever opposition should ever be sufficient to deter you from you mission. In fact, any question, should, ultimately be the sine qua non of validation of one's position.

But, that two national organizations are against any kind of competition?!!

Kind of put the 'truth' to matter, doesn't it?

Let me put this another way: Liars can't handle competition.

E.J. Totty

Re: Eric wants someone to get him a job... ("Letter from Eric Oppen" http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle342-20051023-01.html#letter2)

> First off—most of us are shackled to where we are by our jobs,

Tell that to the millions of people who have moved for various freedoms in the past.

The Pilgrims, Mormons, Cubans, German Jews and likely most every other minority group at some point. Yes, you will have to give up your comfort zone... So sorry.

Niven's law:
F x S = k.
The product of Freedom and Security is a constant. To gain more freedom of thought and/or action, you must give up some security, and vice versa.

> and, often, by owning real estate.

According to the Supreme Court's latest opinions, you only own your real estate at the whim of the local authorities anyway.

Sell now before the bubble bursts or someone else convinces the government to give it to them.

> Many of us are married, and moving would involve uprooting our spouses, who often have
> jobs that are no more mobile than ours, as well as our children.

"Honey, I'd like to move, but you and the kids come first... so when our rights are being slowly stripped away, just remember we've stayed here because I didn't want to uproot you and the kids too much." My ancestors, and likely yours, did it, why not you?

My wife wasn't at all sure about the idea, till we visited and saw the state, the people, and the freedoms already here. She's glad we made the move now... She's got friends here now.

> Finding work is difficult enough; doing it at long-distance is doubly and trebly difficult,
> particularly when one has no skills that are currently in high demand everywhere.
> Get me a job in New Hampshire
> and I'll be out of here so fast the speed of light will look rather slow and crippled.

New Hampshire has some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, combined with no income tax or general sales tax. You don't find hundreds of people applying for minimum wages jobs here, in fact much the opposite, skilled workers are in demand...

My wife sent out just 15 unsolicited resumes in her chosen field months before we moved, and she lined up 6 interviews to visit in person and decide. She accepted an offer and made more money working for a smaller place than she left, even before taxes/etc were factored in.

Have you seriously looked? Or it this just another 'Things are the same all over' excuse?

Have you gone to the online job searches and newspaper classified search engines which will mail you results daily?

Are you a hardworker, whatever your skills? Here in NH, being a hardworker counts for more than you know, thanks to the low unemployment rate, where the average person doesn't want to work hard, since the next easier job is always a option for them.

Are you waiting for someone to hand you things on a silver platter, so you can be freer?

You'll be waiting a long time.... It's the saddest thing in the world: rampant individualists who want people to give them a job, and a place to live, and freedom too.

Nothing personal here... this is not the first time I've seen this exact excuse given, nor will it be the last... it's one of the most common the FSP gets in response: Give me XYZ first and I'll move so I can have liberty too. Yeah right. Keep dreaming.

Seth Cohn

Re: "A Herring of a Different Color", by L. Neil Smith http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle342-20051023-02.html

Dear Editor,

The "red herring" fallacy, also known as "igoratio elenchi" or "irrelevant conclusion," is not necessarily indicative of an incorrect position—it is indicative of a poor argument to the proposition (although the use of the term "red herring" is sometimes construed to indicate an intent to use said poor argument to distract attention from the crux of the matter).

When I noted the title of L. Neil Smith's latest ("A Herring of a Different Color," TLE #342), my first thought was that he was going to reprise a debate the two of us had engaged in on the Smith2004-discuss email list some years ago.

I was happy to see that I was wrong—he was, instead, referring a similar debate on the same issue, with the same arguments,versus someone else (I base this conclusion on Smith's description of his interlocutor, whom I resemble only to the extent that I am privileged to count myself among Smith's friends).

The "red herring" aspect of the prior debate was the argument that outlawing abortion necessarily implies outlawing other things (substances which might be used as abortifacients, for example), or instituting draconian surveillance measures (requiring women to report their menstrual cycles, for example). It doesn't.

As I argued at the time, it is entirely possible to outlaw something while not taking every additional measure which might tend to make the original measure more effective or enforceable.

For example, although murder is against the law, we do not have (in the United States, at least) weekly checks of our closets for corpses, monthly tests on our handguns to ascertain whether or not they've been fired, etc. The enforceability of the homicide statutes is, at least theoretically, restricted by constitutional provisions such as that requiring warrants sworn on probable causes for searches.

Likewise, abortion could be outlawed without abrogating such constitutional restraints. Granted, not abrogating them would make the law less easily and universally enforced—but it would not make the law itself any less (or any more) moral or valid. The possibility that those restraints might be abrogated, while very real and very troubling, is not an argument against outlawing abortion per se.

Was Smith, as he claims, right with respect to the predictive value of his claim? I believe (and believed) he was—and he cites the introduction of a bill very much like those he predicted as evidence. But recall that the original argument was offered in the context of a libertarian presidency and an increasingly libertarian direction for government (in the fine novel Hope, written with Aaron Zelman, which I encourage everyone to read), which would militate against the very predictions he makes.

From his recollection of that old debate, Smith proceeds to the Bush administration's current proposal to find and deport all them thar evil furriners what are here without the "right" papers.

This happens to be an issue I agree with Smith on (more so than on the abortion issue—although I happen to agree with the predictions he makes in the "red herring" portion of his argument there, too). I also agree with Smith's predictions of the likely impact, given the current political paradigm. But it's still a red herring.

Laws which attempt to restrict migration across arbitrary, state-established "borders" are either right or wrong (they're wrong). They are right or wrong (they're wrong) regardless of whether or not they are enforced, and they are right or wrong (they're wrong) regardless of whether or not government goes insane trying to find ways to enforce the unenforceable.

I certainly don't deny the need to point out that our current crop (and most likely future crops) of jack-booted politicians are prone to using the unenforceability of immigration laws as an excuse for stomping on our liberties. It needs to be pointed out, and few do that pointing as well as Smith does—his aim is true.

However, these points are not arguments against the immigration laws per se. They are arguments against allowing the current crop (and most likely future crops) of jack-booted politicians to continue holding office (or, for that matter, to continue consuming oxygen). They are, in the context of the argument over immigration laws per se ... "red herrings." It is entirely possible to have immigration laws without resorting to additional, unconstitutional or unconscionable enforcement measures.

Indeed, the proposal put forward by Chertoff and the other Homeland Security goons goes precisely to the latter, not the former. We already have immigration laws, and they are proposing to liberalize them—while getting more "serious" about enforcing them. Stupid? Yes. Thuggish? You betcha. But not an immigration matter per se; the proposal more resembles idiotic ideas like "Operation Exile" and other NRA-sponsored "if we only enforced the laws we had" drivel which applies not at all to any argument for or against the right to keep and bear arms, but rather is an abdication of such an argument.

The necessary and proper arguments against immigration laws are arguments which go to the right to freedom of movement over one's property and over the property of consenting others, and the illegitimacy of any state attempt to abrogate that right, not to possible exploitation of such abrogations. They are, in other words, arguments from first principles ... a type of argument I learned to value by seeing it put forward, most often and most effectively, by L. Neil Smith himself.

Smith taught me that, sooner or later (and better sooner), libertarians must attack the roots of the issues, not their branches. Chertoff's singularly unworkable and freedom-damaging "enforcement" scheme is a branch. I'm glad that Smith chose to take a crosscut saw to that branch (it needed doing), but ultimately we have to take on immigration itself, not the Stupid Government Tricks for which immigration "problems" serve as an excuse. Smith has done this before, and I look forward to seeing him do it again.

Thomas L. Knapp

That was a great letter, Tom, I enjoyed "herring" from you, and I look forward to seeing it in TLE. We've had some serious connectivity problems that are well on the way to being solved now.

I never said that the draconian measures I predicted are the final argument (in fact I've gone a long way to make sure I didn't give that impression) nor that they absolutely had to follow enactment of the laws I oppose. I merely predicted that they will, given the current fascistic climate.

L. Neil Smith

Dear Ken:

I'd like to respond to "G.Monty"'s essay found at: http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle341-20051016-05.html "Martial Law stops at the NH border: An SOF soldier visits the Free State Project", by G. Monty

Kenneth Royce

[As follows—Editor]

G. Monty's essay reads like a puff piece for the FSP. It was inaccurate and unfair, at best.

Let's clear up a few things:

The FSP was founded as an org to foment a migration of 20,000 by the year 2011 (i.e., 5 years after its 9/2006 deadline).

After years of edging away from their deadline by terming it a "goal" the FSP Board on 5 Oct 2005 formally renounced even a goal of reaching 20,000 by 2006 and will allow opt-outs by those who viewed 2006 as a deadline.

Its own membership stats now extrapolate to the year 2027 to reach 20,000. Members still signed on by that time (and still alive) must move within 5 years, i.e., by 2032.

Yes, I have been a vehement critic of all this, mainly because I do not believe that the FSP is touting itself forthrightly (e.g., keeping some 2,000 uncontactable nonvoters on the books as active members)—not because of any vested interest in selling Wyoming, the FSW, or my novel.

Wyoming (with just 550,000) has always been the best first choice for a concerted free state migration, and folks are beginning to realize this.

NH is a very nice state, and the best choice for the East, but it is not the best choice for all of us (with 5,000 liberals/year coming in from NY and Mass). Even if the FSP gets 20,000 movers by the year 2032, what does anyone rationally imagine will be their effect in a state of nearly 1,500,000?

And neither is the FSP is only game in town, as they would like folks to believe.

Regarding Monty's assertion that "New Hampshire had beat out Wyoming fair and square in a vote among libertarians"—this is only partly accurate.

NH won the FSP by 251 votes—nearly the exact number of FSP members then already living in NH.

The Western states beat out the Eastern states, both in #1 and #2 choices. NH won because its 250 FSP residents there voted it in—pure and simple.

Now, about the Free State Wyoming.

Our website www.freestatewyoming.org has been a bit stale for a while, mainly because we are all busy with our Wyoming relocation plans! It will be greatly added to and updated this year. We will soon have a very nice forum, many human interest stories of FSWers who have already moved to Wyoming, Welcome Wagons in several counties, and future plans/ideas of the FSW.

Next year we'll schedule our Jamboree in conjunction with the Wyoming Riflemen's Challenge hosted by http://www.rwva.org.

Instead of Monty complaining that the FSW has been slow to show tangible results, why not put such in fair perspective? The FSW is playing catch-up to an org which began years earlier, and our people are moving to (or buying property in) Wyoming nearly every month now.

Monty's claim of "There is no movement beyond the fictional one in his novel. There is no forward momentum. Nothing is moving forward. Wyoming is a dead duck on a motionless pond" is a gross insult to the FSWers who have moved to Wyoming, and the many more who have signed pledges to do so.

(NOTE: The lack of FSW press has been my fault. I didn't expect to start a free state org, and had little time to do so. That's changing now.)

The FSW has 10% of the WY relocators that the FSP has in NH, and all without national hoop-lah. Also, because the FSW was initially focused on just 3 Wyoming counties, our earlier numbers were naturally less. And none of this takes into account the fact that I, my novel Molôn Labé!, and the FSW can be credited for people moving to Wyoming on their own outside of FSW auspices. (Scott Bieser in Cheyenne comes to mind.)

Our members have signed on to move to Wyoming by Jan 2010, regardless of anybody else doing so, much less 19,999 others by the year 2032.

I will be there next year myself, and have already moved some of my things up there.

My advice to free staters? Visit both states, and do thorough research. "Hear the other side" as Chinese wisdom says. We have a chance to best use our numbers in Wyoming, especially at the county levels.

Our county favorite, Crook County, has lovely weather, rolling hills, affordable land, and no wind. And it's only 6 hours drive from Denver. We've FSWers who already live there, who will be happy to tell you how much they like it in Wyoming.

Stay tuned for more about the FSW and the people who are moving to Wyoming!

Boston T. Party (aka Kenneth W. Royce)

See "The Man Who Would Murder Death"


L. Neil Smith

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Re.: "Bill would regulate colored contact lenses"

Imagine that! Congress gets to regulate contact lenses.

Well, why not rubbers (condums)?

And, why not regulate their use?

And, why not nail polish?

Or, tattoos?

Or, piercings?

I'll let your imagination run wild with the possibilities, seeing as how some idiot with the name 'Boozman' has obviously run wild with his own name and has hit the a booze big time—it would seem?

That 'shit' is about to hit the fan.

Y'all pardon me if I happen to find a hidie hole and lay low for a while, eh?

E.J. Totty

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