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L. Neil Smith's
The Libertarian Enterprise

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Number 498, December 21, 2008
May we all overcome the Forces
of Chaos in the year to come!

Better Deal
Better Deal
by Rex May (note new URL)
Stuff for sale:




As you may know already, I am not a religious person. I believe in the value of looking at the world as it exists in objective reality, forming tentative conclusions based on my observations (rather than on what I wish were true or what some "authority" tells me), and, when possible, testing those conclusions—to destruction, if necessary—in order to form revised conclusions. The process goes on as long as I live.

Sound familiar?

It's a system of epistemology (the philosophical study of how we know what we know) called science and despite what flat Earthers and evolution deniers claim to the contrary, that's all there is to it. It's the most effective way to find out about the world. It's why we live in houses instead of caves, ride engine-powered wheels wherever we go, eat strange and wonderful food from all over the world, and live four or five times longer than our not-so-remote ancestors. You don't have to be a scientist to employ, and live by, the scientific method.

It's why I'm writing this essay on an impossibly sophisticated little machine, sending it wirelessly to a device in the other room, from which it will go by wire and satellite to our esteemed editor, who will send it to you the same way, for you to read on another impossibly sophisticated little machine. Nobody ever prayed computers or the Internet into existence, and no sky-ghost had a hand in their creation.

Sorry, folks, it's not my intention to offend anybody, but I have had to listen to contrary opinions my entire life, and it's my turn now.

I get annoyed whenever somebody who admits, in effect, to seeing fairies at the bottom of his garden, lectures me on how this is a Christian country, founded and fought for by Christians. It simply isn't true. The Founders were an interesting mixture of individuals that included Christians, but also included deists, agnostics, and atheists. America wouldn't exist today as an independent entity if it weren't for a Jew, Haym Saloman, who raised funds needed to fight the Revolution.

The First Amendment was written to make religion irrelevant in politics (not in everyday non-political life). The Founders had seen too many countries in which that wasn't the case, and the misery, torture, and death it invariably engendered. We're in grave danger of going through all that anyway, thanks to a vicious new religion called environmentalism, in which Original Sin consists of exhaling carbon dioxide.

Conservatives often smirkily point out that the phrase "separation of church and state" doesn't appear in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but "only" in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. What they don't tell you is that the Bill of Rights was written by James Madison expressly to satisfy doubts that his friend Jefferson had about the advisability of a strong central government. It's largely the product of the thoughts of Jefferson and that "nasty little atheist" Thomas Paine.

But enough of all that. I don't care about anybody's religion as long as they keep it in their pants. I have many Christian friends. Whenever Marshall Fritz and I were together, he liked to spar about religion. That's how I decided that if I were God, and someone decided to believe in Me on the basis of Pascal's Wager (look it up), I'd send the cowardly four-flusher straight to Hell. Good thing I'm not God, hunh?

I also have Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist friends I value, as well as agnostics and atheists (not too many deists these days, I guess).

Be that as it may...

Almost every civilization in human history has had a midwinter holiday—a time when somebody finally said, "I'm sick of this lousy, miserable, depressing weather, let's light some candles, maybe even a bonfire, roast something large, get drunk, and sing and dance!"—and the earliest such holiday that my research has disclosed so far is Zagmuk.

Zagmuk commemorates the triumph of the Babylonian god-king Marduk over the Forces of Chaos (so I guess Marduk was an early incarnation of Maxwell Smart). I suppose that it's possible—no, it's absolutely inevitable—that earlier people, perhaps Homo neanderthalensis, or at least the inhabitants of 8000-year-old Catalhoyuk, beat the old Babylonians to this idea, but for now, what we've got is Marduk and Zagmuk.

So, in whatever manner you choose to celebrate it, a very Happy Zagmuk to you and yours, from me and mine. And because those ancient Babylonians apparently drank beer and wine, we hoist a bowl to you! Like Marduk, may we all overcome the Forces of Chaos in the year to come!

L. Neil Smith
Publisher and Senior Columnist
The Libertarian Enterprise


Well, 2008 is just about used up. Next comes 2009. And we will continue fighting entropy and working to achieve the promise of the American Revolution. It's the least we can do. Helping us is an option

but not a requirement. Y'all be good, ya heer?

Ken Holder

P.S.: don't forget our Publisher's Note: A Call For "Papers"

Time Peeper


Tom Paine Maru
Tom Paine Maru

(Click to buy at

Letters to the Editor
from Paul Bonneau, Nydra Karlen, A.X. Perez and L. Neil Smith

Some Simple Shopping Suggestions
from L. Neil Smith
I'm a bit late getting to this, having just finished the script for my fourth and latest webcomic, Phoebus Krumm, a sequel to Henry Martyn, Bretta Martyn, and The Wardove. Unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to draw these things than to write them, so you may not start seeing the story at until this time next year.

Need A Laugh Today?
forwarded by Dave Earnest
Friends, Fellow prisoners! Times are too weird right now to take too seriously. I have stopped taking my anti depressants and am using the money I save to buy ammunition.

A Hippie Christmas
The Kaptain's Log

by Kaptain Kanada, a.k.a. Manuel Miles
You occasionally read a reference to "the 60s" or "the hippys" [sic], both online and in the government-controlled media, but the last thing that anyone seems interested in is an actual honest history of those turbulent days when the youth of the Western world seemed poised to bring down the whole damned statist house of cards in every "first world" country.

Atlantea The Beautiful
by L. Neil Smith and Rex May
Number 3 of a weekly cartoon series.

Hope cover
Now for Sale at!

Roswell Texas
Now for Sale at!

The Last Sonuvabitch of Klepton
The Last
of Klepton

The Probability Broach:
The Graphic Novel

by L. Neil Smith
Illustrated by Scott Bieser
Published by Bighead Press, 2004

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2008 Issues
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