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L. Neil Smith's
Number 475, July 6, 2008

"What was left to celebrate?"

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Letters to the Editor

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[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear, otherwise we will use the information in the "From:" header!]

Letter from Kevin Van Horn

Letter from Dennis Wilson

Letter from Nydra

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Scott Graves

Letter from Jim Davidson

Re: "Letter from Scott Graves"

Scott Graves ask that we forgive Bob Barr his past sins and give him a chance to prove himself as the LP's presidential candidate. What Mr. Graves is missing is that not only Barr's past record (pre-LP) is at issue; so are his current positions. On the basis of his own recent statements and published positions, Barr is not a libertarian. He doesn't come close to being a consistent supporter of the Non- Aggression Principle that has long been the definition of what is a libertarian.

Kevin Van Horn

I enjoyed Darian Worden's wonderful article "Why Gun Freedom is Important" in last week's The Libertarian Enterprise and especially his statement about "the multifaceted superiority of the militia for securing a free people".

I think the very best example of what a militia can be is the American Revolutionary War Battle at King's Mountain near the North border of South Carolina on October 7th, 1780.

I have read several description of the battle and the one recorded at Wikipedia seems to contain all the essential details.

Although both sides were technically militia, the Loyalist American militia was trained and led by British Major Patrick Ferguson and fought in strict British military manner—as the description of the fighting clearly reveals.

I won't quote the entire Wikipedia entry—just the first paragraph. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the hidden potential of militias—especially those composed of free men defending their homes.

From Wikipedia:

The Battle of Kings Mountain, October 7, 1780, was an important Patriot victory in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. Frontier militia loyal to the United States overwhelmed the Loyalist American militia led by British Major Patrick Ferguson of the 71st Foot. In The Winning of the West, Theodore Roosevelt wrote of King's Mountain, "This brilliant victory marked the turning point of the American Revolution."

On July 4th, I watched the Southern Campaign portion of the History Channel's presentation of the American Revolution. Apparently they don't consider "This brilliant victory...the turning point of the American Revolution" even worthy of mention.

Could it be that knowledge of angry citizens actually forming a spontaneous (and very effective) militia without a government appointed and approved leader (these militias elected their own leaders) is a concept that is anathema to our current leash holders and their lapdog media?

However, there were several presentation and enactments of militia under government leadership that portrayed them as unreliable, cowardly ruffians because they would not stand up and be targets to enemy volleys in open fields.

Dennis Wilson

In 2000, I purchased a used RoadTrek motorhome. Its on a three-quarter-ton Dodge chassis and very compact. The dealer was North of Chicago and while showing me the unit, he reached up and opened a pull down cabinet over the steering wheel and said, 'this is where you keep your hand gun'.

I said, 'you're kidding' and he said, 'nope, when they carjack these things they don't leave any witnesses'.

When I got home, I thought about getting a weapon. I'm an older single woman and have no feelings about weapons one way or the other. Living in a neighborhood with many retired military, I'm surrounded by an arsenal of weapons and feel very secure. As kids, guns were always part of the family, but my brother mostly got me to walk on the other side of the creek and flush birds. My husband taught me how to use the revolver in our bedroom closet. Funniest thing. After the divorce it was gone.

Anyway, what I discovered was the laws changed as you drove through localities. And if I kept it over the steering wheel, I could be guilty of a felony.

My first question after the Supreme Court decision about the right to be secure in your home was 'does that include motorhomes'? It should, ... but does it?

Nydra in Bellevue, NE

[A good question!—Editor]

Almost correct

Last Thursday I read a web posting by a liberal who was unhappy about the outcome of the Heller decision. He went on to say that he could hold his nose and force himself to live with it in exchange for stricter protection of Fourth Amendment rights.

He almost gets it!! The rights listed in the Bill of Rights (included placing un-enumerated powers in the hands of the states and/or people and the admission that there are rights not listed that are equally as sacred as those that are) are the minimum rights the Government had to bind itself to respect to legally exist. Eroding one erodes the others. Cops entering your house without a valid search warrant are armed trespassers, whom you have the right to forcibly (and probably suicidally, let's be realistic) resist. The police may not legally enter your house and legally seize weapons without a valid warrant describing specific weapons being sought as evidence in a specific crime or crimes (again, courts eager to establish law and order have watered this down.). One needs the rights described in one amendment to defend the rights described in another. Admitting that one can be swept into the dustbin of history alongside Stalinism is to admit they all can.

Guns and Ammo and The American Rifleman have run articles of how enforcement of victim disarmament could become a pretext for violating the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The author of the article that got me started wanted to trade enforcement of the Second Amendment for enforcement of the Fourth. It is a paranoid fantasy of mine that two enemies of liberty meet and one tells the other, "I'll agree to trashing the Second Amendment for trashing the Fourth.

If we do not start acting like enforcement of every right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is a necessary condition to defending the others we will live to see each right destroyed as a necessary step for eliminating the others.

A.X. Perez

Re: "Letter from Victor Milan"

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

You write as if there were a choice between the two.

  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?

Ok, how do we get freedom without winning political control of the government? How do we manage to get the agents of government to leave us alone without becoming their bosses first?

Shall we tie them up with legalistic sounding language? When the IRS comes calling hand them our letters showing the 16th Amendment wasn't legally ratified? When the cops come to take our guns should we show them the text of the Second Amendment and prove they can't take our guns? When we get pulled over by a cop and don't have the proper papers shall we quote "right to travel" and other such things? Ask the people who've been doing that for the last twenty years how well that's going for them. That's if you can manage to visit them in prison.

Maybe you have a new scheme to keep the minions of government at bay. Perhaps you've found a new interpretation of some law that you're sure will befuddle the bureaucrats long enough to keep you free for the rest of your life. Does it involve a new method of rescinding your Social Security number and de-corporatizing yourself from your Zip Code? Are you ready to tell us all the secret for just $250 down and $30 a month for the next six years? Does it involve Pixie Dust?

As many here have said, the government doesn't pay attention to it's own rules. If you are enough of a nuisance they will say "gee, he had a Meth Lab in his basement!" and no matter what legal prep you have done will do you no good. It will come down to who can out shoot and out last whom. They have an all but infinite supply of gun toting bureaucrats to go against you. They win. Even if you set yourself up in a compound with a hundred similarly minded liberty types they will still out shot and out last you.

The other option is to be so insignificant that they don't care that you aren't paying taxes. However that wont include a forest compound with lots of guns. Randy Weaver found that out. More likely it will involve a highway overpass and a duffel bag filled with your meager possessions. Not exactly the liberty filled life most of us are wanting.

The problem with trying to remain insignificant enough is making a living. Most of us need to work for others, and our bosses will want all manner of government sanctioned documents to do so. Most of us need to drive to work and so we need more paperwork. We need bank accounts and all manner of other services provided to us from people who happily report things to the government. We simply cant surrender the SSI and play those patriot games. Most of us can't push our bosses on these issues, they will replace us with someone less troublesome.

Any plan you have to find liberty without political action has to deal with the cold hard facts of survival. How do we provide for our families and not risk being tossed in jail? How do we keep the government at bay without making it an 40 hour a week unpaid job? Do you have any of these answers or are you waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting on this one?

Scott Graves


Re: "Letter from Victor Milan"

Dear Vic,

Yes, shenanigans! I call shenanigans on the Boston Tea Party's nominating convention. I call shenanigans on "Rice Beckons" of who formed 12 voter accounts using 12 e-mail addresses and voted for "none of the above" 12 times. I called Tom Knapp early in the morning and we got together and fixed it as best we could. My goodness teaching people to use PGP and digital signatures has been tough over the years.

Politics seems to be something people will spend long hours to engage in. It seems to me that if I can organize a fired up cadre of enthusiasts for libertarian politics, I may be able to teach them a few things, or lead them to do something useful, something non-political.

But, honestly, Vic, what have you got? I'm eager.

Then Davidson to Milan:—"Declare thou by The Name,
"The secret of thy subtlety that turneth mine to shame.
"It is known through all the Hells
"How the peoples mocked my spells,
"And the faithless voters denied me ere I came."

Please tell me it is as clever as the "Peace of Dives," harnesses state to state, traps them armored into peace.

I was gulching a bit this month. And working on a new computer company. Book of my essays was picked up by a publisher friend. But, really, I could drop it all.

What have you got, if you please, Vic?


Jim Davidson

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