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L. Neil Smith's
Number 474, June 29, 2008

"These are beings perfectly willing to kill
you and your children for your own good."

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Letter from Victor Milan

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Robert Jackman

Letter from Scott Graves

Letter from Edwin E. Smith

Letter from Susan Callaway

Letter from Brian Nickerson

Another Letter from Robert Jackman

Letter from A.X. Perez

Yet Another Letter from Robert Jackman

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Okay, do we want freedom, or do we want politics?

What clearer demonstration could we ask for than the bickering in the first few letters of this week's TLE—or the events of the last few LP conventions—or the shenanigans in the "Boston Tea Party"—that we can pursue freedom or we can pursue politics?

If we choose politics, that's what we get: wrapped around the axle in politicking.

Meanwhile the electoral strategy has worked as well as the invasion of Iraq. The US, long a police state, verges on descent into becoming the world's largest prison; insane global overextension courts a total military catastrophe; and a quarter-century of phony prosperity induced by monetary inflation has now broken loose into price inflation that impoverishes us all by the minute. Could we do worse? How?

Might we maybe try to find better uses for our resources than arguing how many libertarians can dance on the head of a pin, or playing a game that's entirely rigged, to resuscitate dying freedom? Can't we?

All best,

Victor Milan
Sense of Adventure blog:
Tragic Waste political blog:

Re: Election 2008

Maureen Gerrish
MA Petition Drive Leader
[For Alan Keyes]

Dear Ms. Gerrish:

I'm afraid I couldn't possibly support Alan Keyes for any public office, due not only to the unprincipled and unethical stands he takes on certain issues—which would license the government to initiate force against individuals who have done no harm to anyone—but because of the astonishing inconsistency of his views.

While Keyes may be right about self-defense issues (it would be interesting to see how far he goes—can he pass the Smith-Suprynowicz Test?*), it's also true that a broken clock is right twice a day. What America desperately needs right now is politicians who are rational, consistent, and 100% libertarian. Keyes falls far short on all three scores.

Thank you for writing.

L. Neil Smith

* Would Keyes support the right of a nine-year-old girl to walk into a hardware store and, without signing anything or producing identification of any kind, pay cash for a submachinegun, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a supply of morphine? If he wouldn't, then whatever he's in favor of, it isn't freedom.

Food for thought.

What happens in a world where power is produced and used locally?



Would there be a need for a huge overburdening military establishment?

Would the excuse to maintain an Empire hold water?

(Expanded and enlarged Chapter 2 from Internal Combustion; How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives by Edwin Black)

Robert Jackman

Darth Barr?

All this anger about Barr makes me think about the original Star Wars Trilogy. Ask most people what Star Wars was about and they'll say something to the effect of Luke Skywalker becomes the hero and saved the galaxy from evil. They would be missing the deeper story, as people often do. The real story is about redemption. The redemption of Han Solo (scoundrel, pirate and smuggler), Lando Calrisian (gambler, swindler and businessman) and most importantly the redemption of Darth Vader whose resume is infamous.

Each of these men is changed by Luke Skywalker entering their lives and through his idealism and his youthful exuberance for what he knows is right they are shown the path of light. Were it not for their individual conversions there would have been no inventive General to lead the assault on the Shield Generator on Endor's moon, no brave pilot to fly the Millennium Falcon into the heart of the second Death Star, and of course no self sacrificing father to toss the Emperor into the abyss. Luke was nothing more than the catalyst of change in the lives of those three men. Certainly without Luke the changes would not have occurred, but without the men affected by him the galaxy would still be under the thumb of the Emperor.

Bob Barr has been compared, both indirectly and directly, to Darth Vader. I think the comparison may be a deeper truth than most are willing to accept. The question remains is he the "I am your father" Vader of Empire Strikes Back or the redeemed Anakin Skywalker of Return of the Jedi? Which does he come to us now as? If he would just toss Dick Cheney into a nuclear reactor we could more easily tell the difference. But even if he is holding out that hand offering to us the power to rule in the place of the Emperor then isn't he on the right path? Isn't he realizing that the Emperor is the problem, not the solution? If we are at the point where he's ready to toss the Emperor over the side, well I think we ought to cut the guy some slack.

In the movies it's easy to see when someone is redeemed. They fly in at the last second to blow away the TIE Fighters so you can get that fatal shot. They give up all they have worked so hard to build to do the right thing and rescue the Princess and her friends. Or they sacrifice their lives to destroy the Major Villain followed by some deep heartfelt speech as they pass on. In real life, we don't get those kind of in your face proofs that the bad guys have changed. We have to judge them on the whole of their actions after they come to us, not the past we hope they left behind.

I know there are a lot of you out there that want to see Barr perform some kind of major act of contrition or maybe you just want to shove a light saber up his butt. Just like Luke, you are letting the Emperor win as you wallow in your hate and anger. You are letting your desire for immediate justice take you to a dark side of your own. But we have to pull back and look at the greater goal. They way we treat Barr at this time will show the Storm Troopers what kind of deal they will get if they turn their blasters on the real enemies. If we put that light saber where you want it, they will know this fight is to the death and only a noose on a lamp pole is in their future. If we take him in and accept his redemption at face value then the Troopers know they will probably get a fair shake too.

So, what will it be fellow Rebels? Do we go all medieval on Bob with whatever blasters and light sabers we can lay our hands on and set the precedent that we are a party that sees only a persons past or do we welcome him and give him the opportunity to prove us right or wrong and show we look to what a person could some day be instead? It's your choice, it always has been. I'm going to chose to forgive and look to the future with a New Hope instead of seeing a Phantom Menace.

Scott Graves

My Little Pony


My favorite handgun is currently a Ruger P95 DC. It's a 9mm Double Action automatic and with the right mags holds 15 rounds with 1 in the pipe. It's my personal Point and Shoot weapon. It's inexpensive to buy and shoot. It is always nearby.

Next is a Norinco SKS 7.62x39 with a 30 round aftermarket mag and pistol grip. It's ugly but utterly reliable and also cheap. It includes the original spike bayonet.

Then I have a Ruger Ranch Rifle in 5.56 Nato which includes a 30 round mag (see a theme here?) which is useful as an inexpensive plinker and varmint eliminator.

Also as much ammunition as I can afford.

Edwin E. Smith
Freehold Consulting

Re: "None of the Above is Acceptable" by Dennis Kabaczy

Dear Dennis,

That might work if write in votes were valid. Unfortunately, you might as well write in "Mickey Mouse" because it will simply go into the trash. There is NO accounting and no reporting of write in votes in most areas with very few exceptions. Since "NOTA" cannot register as a candidate, it simply will be ignored.

Is it still better than just staying home? I don't know. The real question for me is reflected in the last sentence of your article: "We want someone who will obey the original contract (the Constitution)."

You may, but I don't. I do not recognize the "constitution" or any body of people, however "elected," as having any legitimate power over me or my rights in any respect. I don't want a "constitutional government." I want to be left alone to live my life as I see fit—as long as I do not aggress against anyone else. Period...

The only acceptable "government" is in voluntary association and cooperation with my neighbors. Anything else is slavery.

Susan Callaway, Editor
The Price of Liberty

It Took Less Than a Week

But as Thomas Knapp reveals here:

...the anti-Barr sentiment is fully vindicated by the facts. I suppose the radicals get the consolation that they never supported the rotten bastard in the first place. It's not much, but I must say, it's better than getting caught with one's pants down.

Brian Nickerson

The Emporer's clothes are gone. WTC-7

Depends on When.

Some eyewitness officials in NYC now discredit the Official account of what happened, and when, concerning the Collapse of the Solomon Bros. building. A.K.A. WTC-7

When is especially important, since when can discredit collapse of WTC-7 based on domino effect of The Twin Tower collapse, pointing to an "Inside Job" if when happened before the Twin Towers collapsed.

Building 7 housed the CIA and the SEC. Security was the best on earth. That the building was being systematically and progressively torn apart from within by demo charges BEFORE either WTC tower 1 or 2 collapsed, as witnessed by city of New York Officials, destroys the official story.

All previous attempts at explaining away the WTC-7 collapse rested on the Twin Towers collapse debris ripping the face off of Building 7, causing massive structural asymmetric damage that caused a near perfect symmetric collapse.

Nothing remains to hide the fact that the powers that be and their puppets in media and the pro war on some terrorists useful idiots have run out of credible lies and excuses.

Robert Jackman

A while back a government teacher asked me, "Why do we need laws?" Since he didn't seem interested in hearing a prolonged lecture on libertarian/anarchist thought on the matter I answered, "We need laws so that people living in large groups can exercise their rights without violating their neighbors' rights."

As Jefferson said, "To protect these rights governments are created among men..." Humans tolerate governments and enact laws to protect their rights. Eventually other purposes get added: ensuring the power of the ruling class, enforcing political and/or religious ideologies, and satisfying the urge to butt in in other folks' business being high on the list.

The question becomes, do the people running our government carry out this primary job of protecting rights? Do laws protect/enforce rights? If the answer is yes, then obviously going along with them is our best bet. But what if they fail to do so? What if enforcing the rule of the Nebbish clan becomes more important than letting the Smiths and Holders speak the truth as they see it?

Do we charge the rulers with fraud for accepting payment for protecting rights and then violating them? do we sue the for breach of contract?

The purpose of the law is originally to protect rights. Therefor we must apply that law to those who would rule. And if they fail to abide perhaps we must be prepared to "alter or abolish them and replace them" with new forms of government and rulers.

Or maybe with no government at all.

A.X. Perez

A possible "end run" around Nanosolar? other words think: Solar PV ink.

If it works, we can say good bye to the grid!

Robert Jackman

Many of the supporters of gun bans have claimed that they only wanted "reasonable regulation" of gun ownership, not a destruction of Constitutional rights.

Many supporters of gun bans have armed bodyguards (who would be exempt from gun control laws they support).

So how about a "reasonable" restriction on maintaining private militias that would charge persons a ten thousand dollar a year tax to hire private armed bodyguards and public officials a fifteen thousand a year tax to have armed bodyguards either privately or publicly funded? Still haven't figured out how to bill or how much to tax corporations.

Before you hit me with criticisms that imposing taxes on anybody is a big no-no to libertarians, please consider that these people have hit us with all sorts of taxes on gun purchases. They are also supporters of a strong state, one they can do more to finance by coughing up a bodyguard tax and give the common folk they love by reducing the need to hit us for more tax money. Our enemies do claim to love us common people.

Just a thought.

A.X. Perez

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