Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 427, July 22, 2007

"We are in a position to alter history."

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Scott Graves

Letters from John Taylor, With Reply from A. X. Parez

Letter from Therese Wilson, With Reply from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Jim Davidson

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Thomas L. Knapp

Normally you have a neat little cartoon on the main page each week. This week, no cartoon or image of any kind. Very weird. I also got a vague feeling that I was missing something important in this weeks issue. Very disturbing. Weird and disturbing actually. Or was is disturbing and weird? Hard to say. The whole main page just put me completely out of sorts.

Scott Graves

["If you can't see them, they can't eat you."

However, note that. . . the thing Scott didn't see will soon be for sale on hats and shirts and such from our new Cafe Press account, maybe as soon as next week (this week was consumed by excessive Editorial Brain Rot and Disintegration but next week will be better, right? Right? Oh please, say "Right!")—Editor]

To: A. X. Perez
From: John Taylor


In TLE # 426, you write, "Admittedly guns are more effective as weapons and politically significant as weapons, but don't the 2nd, 9th, and 14th Amendments as well as Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution protect knives as well as guns?

First, a nit: my copy of the Constitution does not have a Section 2 in Article 6 (sic). If you refer to the second paragraph of Article VI, let me assert that, in my humble opinion, it is one of the most "ignored"—and therefore important—sentences in the entire body.

Second (and not quite so "nitly"): as founding member and point man for the "others" to whom you refer in your postscript, please repeat after me until you achieve enlightenment. . . "The ends do not justify the means; the ends do not justify the means; the ends do not justify the means."

Thanks for playing!

John Taylor
Former Editor, TLE

With Reply from A. X. Parez:

Extremely humble apologies accompanied by much grovelling for boneheaded error. I always swap Article and Section around unless I'm actually looking at reference copy of Constitution. Will make sure have copy handy when quoting in future.

On second point: other than discussion in venues such as TLE my references to why and how my carrying of knives in public is Constitutionally protected if I am ever arrested for and tried for illegally carrying knives (This only refers to carry. Brandishing, assault, and threatening are different matters to be addressed at another time if and when appropriate.). My lawyer damn well better throw in every Constitutional Amendment that is even remotely relevant (for example, arguing that requiring someone to not carry a "fighting knife" constitutes a badge of slavery and therefor violates the 13th Amendment), as well as the second paragraph of Article VI, appropriate state Constitution and Amendments(all states, not just Texas) , precedent under Federal and State case law, and references to common law trying to get the charge(s) dismissed or jury nullified, or my conviction reversed. Maybe I'm wrong but, keeping out of prison and/or avoiding getting fined into third world poverty is sufficient ends to justify refering to the 14th Amendment. Restated, my "martyrdom" is not an acceptable means to the ends of not refering to the 14th Amendment.

This opens up the possibility of a huge discussion on distinguishing means from ends to be carried on by private corresspondance or over the consumption of beverages (alcoholic, caffeinated, or not) and suitable snacks if we are ever in the same neck of the woods.

A.X. Perez

PS: You're right about the second paragraph of Article VI. The trick is to get it brought up in court cases more often. Unfortunately, honest judges only apply the Constitution if Counsel on one side or the other brings it up. Fortunately, if you've got a century or two for the cases to build up, rulings by honest judges become the precedents so beoved by our judicial system. Remember that we are trying to guarantee our grandchildren and great grandchildren's freedom as well as our own.

With Reply from John Taylor:

Perhaps I mis-read. You said, in the postscript:

"P.S. I know L. Neil Smith and others don't like my habit of making excessive references to the 14th Amendment. However, I'm more interested in swamping the other guys' arguments in court than ideological purity and philosophical exactness. Just look at it as taking an engineer's point of view rather than a scientist's on dealing with the law and Constitutional theory."

I am one who actively despises the 14th, and Neil and I have had many discussions in that regard. If, when you say "in court" you're referring strictly to cases related to the article's subject, that's a much narrower context than the one I inferred, and one I would have to re-visit for potential applicability. So I'll apologize here and now for over-inference, and leave that subject for possible future discussion. I do re-state my philosophical objection to the 14th, however, though.

However, my real point in the statement was to take umbrage with the phrase ". . .I'm more interested in swamping the other guys' arguments in court than ideological purity and philosophical exactness." Granting yourself permission to violate principle to gain an advantage—whether it be in court, in business, or in personal action—appears to require that you grant tha same permission universally. And that, my new acquaintance, is a very slippery slope, indeed. (Though I might warm to a counter-argument, based on state repression of your inalienable right to self-defense.)

Warmest regards,
John Taylor

Dear TLE,

Is L. Neil Smith lying ("Islamofnordism")?

Are there those American foes of Islamofascism who think that all Muslims (Muslims per se) are Islamofascists? I suppose, though it would be nice to see a quote or two from prominent "neoconservatives" to back up the claim that this is a standard-issue contention on their part.

Is there such a phenomenon of Islamofascism—i.e., of Islam-rationalized tyranny and promoting of tyranny, with mass murder and other violent intimidation as one of the premier methods of achieving it? Yes, obviously, though Smith may try to pretend that the Irans and Syrias and al Qaedas don't exist.

What we have in Smith's latest fact-free effusions is a straw man. Smith sets it up, knocks it down, and pretends he's accomplished something. There's no actual discussion of Islamist ideology as taught the schools and mosques, nor as motivating the mass-murderers who struck on 9/11. He skips over the abundant relevant evidence as if it doesn't exist. (Of course, he also pretends that there's cause to believe that 9/11 was a put-up job by the feds, again carefully ignoring abundant evidence that, yeah, it really was Islamo-thugs behind it.) For the sake of ideological preconceptions Smith either has made himself dumb, or he's just lying. I don't think he's that dumb.

The icing on the rhetorically fatty cake is Smith's contemptible praise of the "courage and conviction" of suicide bombers (see, the neocons lack the courage and conviction to become suicide bombers). Such killers, eager to escape from life, of course have fans among many (not all) Muslims in addition to such secular anarcho-babblers as Smith.

Therese Wilson

With Reply from L. Neil Smith:

Dear Ken:

I was tempted to ask you to run Therese Wilson's letter as is. It's such an excellent example of the phenomenon I was writing about in my article "Islamofnordism". Of course she's eager to have me write about the non-existent subject "Islamofascim". That means I'd have less time and energy to write about the hysterical right-wing scapegoating driving the present war and its bigoted and fanatical supporters.

But some of what she has to say deserves answering. For example, I'm sure she meant to begin by asking rhetorically, "Is L. Neil Smith lying?

The answer, of course, is no.

You see, Therese, I have been a professional liar for thirty years. I make up very long, internally consistent lies, write them down on paper, and sell them to publishers. My very first was The Probability Broach which I began in 1977. The latest is Ceres, which is looking for a publisher right now—unless you want to count TimePeeper, a graphic serial that begins at in August.

I don't get paid for what I write in The Libertarian Enterprise, I never have, and, as a matter of solemn principle, I never lie for free.

Therese then asks, "Are there . . .American foes of Islamofascism who think that all Muslims . . . are Islamofascists? . . .it would be nice to see a quote or two from prominent "neoconservatives" to back up the claim that this is a standard-issue contention. . ."

Oh, but Therese, I'm just using your glorious leader Monkeyboy II as my primary specimen. Remember, if you aren't with him, then you're against him, so I simply assumed that you and all of your ilk agree with everything, no matter how stupid, that tumbles out of his mouth. Don't you think this is a fair and proper thing to assume with any collectivists?

Even (or especially) right wing collectivists?

Therese then proceeds to offer us a sort of half-baked definition of "Islamofascism", to wit: "Islam-rationalized tyranny and promoting of tyranny, with mass murder and other violent intimidation as one of the premier methods of achieving it. . ."

The problem with this attempted definition (one of them, anyway) is that it has absolutely nothing to do with fascism, which is a very specific political and economic system invented by German economists, first applied by Mussolini in Italy, and then so widely accepted that World War II was pretty much a conflict between competing forms of fascism.

I think what Therese (and Monkeyboy II) mean by "fascism" is what my grandmother—my wife's grandmother, too—meant by the epithet "communism", i.e., anything they didn't like and didn't understand. When I wrote libertarian/Randian columns in the campus newspaper in the 1960s, my grandmother, livid with embarrassment, called me a communist.

When Cathy challenged her grandma's belief that FDR, JFK, and LBJ were God's angels, she (Cathy, not Grandma) got called a communist, too.

So no, there's no such phenomenon as "Islamofascism", just a lot of people in the Middle East terminally pissed off because we've bombed them and starved their kids for fifty years, as who wouldn't be? That's what you're trying to justify, Therese, mass murder—and it doesn't look good on you, at all. Are there demagogues over there, taking advantage of all that anger? Of course there are—and you, Therese, are among those who have helped to make life all too easy for them.

By the way, don't put words—or the absence of words—in my mouth. I have never tried to pretend that Iran and Syria don't exist. And unlike you, I remember when Al Qaeda (what scattered few there were before our glorious government began recruiting for them) were the goodguys—until our glorious government changed your mind for you.

You see, Therese, you're in danger of becoming what Joseph Gebbels called a "useful idiot" and you should be ashamed. You accept that there are kind, generous, ethical Christians, but you can't—won't—make the same assumption about Muslims because you've been ordered not to by Monkeyboy II and his minions. You accept anything they tell you, even when what they tell you—weapons of mass destruction, connections between Saddam and Osama—turn out to be bold, barefaced lies.

Therese, I've seen all of your "evidence"—or rather Monkeyboy II's "evidence" over and over and over again. I still know what a building looks like when it's knocked down from the inside. It is you who have been persuaded to ignore the uncorrupted evidence of your own senses in order to go along with what the current regime wants you to see.

That's nothing to be proud of, let alone belligerent about.

Yes, I could discuss the content of Islamic belief. I've read two different translations of the Koran, cover to cover (not to mention the Bible and the Book of Mormon). But that isn't what I was writing about.

The most peculiar phrase in Therese's entire letter is: ". . .Smith's contemptible praise of the 'courage and conviction' of suicide bombers. . ." Would it be equally contemptible to praise the courage and conviction of Nathan Hale, Theresa, or the brave defenders of the Alamo? Would you have smeared them as ". . .killers, eager to escape from life. . ."? The bloody-handed British at the time would have been happy to have you do that, as would the insane Mexican dictator, Santa Anna.

I don't think I'm the one who's babbling, here, anarchistically or otherwise, which is why I almost let Therese's letter speak for itself. I could be prejudiced, but what I think I'm seeing here are the last mental and moral struggles of an individual who's losing her faith.

Or would that just be more " . . .icing on the rhetorically fatty cake. . ."?

L. Neil Smith

Dear Editor,

Doug Newman writes

"He only initiates force one time, i.e. when He drives the moneychangers out of the Temple—Matthew 21:12. However, He is within His rights to do this as they are defiling His Father's House."

It is my understanding of the work of the money changers in the Temple that they were engaged in a coerced market rather than a free market. They had, apparently with the collusion of Temple priests, cornered the market on so-called Temple shekels. These were then exchanged at a very high mark up, exclusively by these preferentially treated exchangers. In other words, there was already coercion and fraud on the side of the money changers to justify intervention by force.

So, I do not regard this incident as a clear example of initiatory force. Rather, it appears to me to be justifiable retaliatory and defensive force.


Jim Davidson

Burt Gummer
Our Hero Burt Gummer

We need to run Burt Gummer (Right wing survivalist gun enthusiast from Tremors) for President.

First of, as a fictional character his ability to do harm is limited. OK, so is his ability to do good, but it's a worthwhile trade. Besides don't Libertarians essentially want a do nothing government?

Secondly, as a caricature Mr. Gummer is good for a laugh. This beats the hell out of the selfimportant idiots who compose what the mainstream press call the major candidates. At least he's supposed to be a clown.

It's too early in the campaign for everyone to be as serious as these buffoons are. Too many of their issues won't matter by November of 2008. For example, I will bet money that even if Congress shuts up W will begin a major withdrawal of troops by September of 2008.

Finally let us not forget what may be the most pertinent line in Tremors 3 addressed to Gummer: "I don't think you're, paranoid. I used to, but not no more."

The fact is that the mainstream candidates all make me feel that way about my Burt Gummerish friends. Maybe it's time we let the two factions of America's major Party know just how many Americans feel that way.

Besides it would make a way cool bumper sticker.

A.X. Perez

[Well, stay tooned for next issue. Ye Olde Editor has got hisself a really bright flashlight, somehow has both hands free, and is working night and day (except when he's sprawled-out with brain-befuddlment) to provide the readers of TLE with such delights as "Burt Gummer for President" bumpter stickers (copyright laws notwithstanding perhaps?) and so on and so forth and you-know and stuff—Editor]

"All Together Now". . . Libertarian Presidential Candidate Endorses Paul

Fort Bragg, CA—Citing overwhelming support from his own party's members and lackluster response to Libertarian presidential campaigns, Steve Kubby today endorsed US Representative Ron Paul's campaign for the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nomination. Kubby, a candidate in his own party's presidential contest, made the endorsement in an interview from his home in Mendocino County, California.

"I am not, and have never been, a Republican," says Kubby, 60, best known for his work for cannabis legalization and on behalf of medical marijuana patients. "For me, the Libertarian Party has always been, and remains, our last best hope for achieving freedom through the American political process. And until recently my position was that the Libertarian Party needed to stick to its own guns, stake out its own territory. But sometimes a special situation comes along."

Recent polling shows Paul garnering the support of about 70% of LP members—and the LP's front-runners, including Kubby, clustered together in the 2-3% range among those same members. That polling, Paul's much higher media profile, and fundraising reports showing that Paul has raised nearly 100 times as much money as any of his Libertarian competitors, convinced Kubby that this is just such a situation.

"I'm still running for president," says Kubby. "My campaign's first television commercial will debut shortly. I'm continuing to debate my opponents, attend public events as a candidate, and appear on talk radio to make my case. There are important things that need to be said, and I'm saying them. Dr. Paul and I disagree on some issues that I want to skyline, and I firmly believe that I'm the best candidate to represent the party next November. But when 70% of your own party believes so strongly in a candidate that they're willing to cross party lines to support him at least until he's out of the running, you owe it to them to back their play."

Kubby states that if his fellow freedom activists' long-shot bet pays off and Ron Paul becomes the Republican nominee, he will withdraw, ask the party to nominate "None of the Above" at its national convention, and work as a volunteer on Paul's general election campaign. "And I'm urging my fellow Libertarians to approach this in the same way," he says. "But at the same time, I'll continue preparing to give the LP the best presidential campaign I can give it if that doesn't work out."

Web references:

Source interview

[This press release]

Kubby for President

Ron Paul 2008

Thomas L. Knapp

[Note that this is precisely the course L. Neil Smith advised back in May of this year in his article "Instead of a Speech" —Editor]

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