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L. Neil Smith's
Number 533, August 23, 2009

"Freeman Dyson once said that if we can make it to
the asteroids, the IRS will never be able to find us."

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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 Curt Howland

Letter from Sean Gangol

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Sean Gabb

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Rex May

Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Again a Letter from A.X. Perez

Secession, Five Years Later by William Buppert

Thought, just in case you didn't see this, you might enjoy it.

Curt Howland

In the article "Republic? What republic?" Paul Bonneau points out that legislative bodies are just as capable of the same insanity that is carried out in direct democracies. I would like to point out that I never said that it was impossible for a legislative body to pass insane laws. I am well aware that they do so on a daily basis. What Mr. Bonneau fails to understand is that we haven't been a republic in quite some time. Theoretically our representatives are supposed to act in the best interests of the people. Unfortunately, most of our representatives only care about their own interests. They pretend to care about our interests only well enough to stay in office. Most of our public servants have also ignored the limitations placed upon them by a document known as the Constitution.

For the most part I agree with what Mr. Bonneau wrote in his article. However, I didn't particularly agree with the notion of the government not being able to sell us out to Wall Street if we were a direct democracy. Apparently he has greater faith in the voters then I do. I personally have a hard time putting my trust into voters who can name the latest contestant on American Idol, but not their congressman.

Sean Gangol

On Thursday the 13th of August 2009 I read an article on where Dick Cheney complained about George W. Bush had gotten soft in his second term. Apparently Bush was starting to reject a lot of the Constitutionally questionable (to be polite) policies Cheney wanted.

To be crude, W was acting like he forgot he was Cheney's bitch.

From time to time people have claimed that some (if not all) the USA's Presidents weren't really the men in charge, that they were front men for individuals or groups in the shadows. Depending on the President in question, in some cases this is sheer paranoid speculation, in other cases, the only logical explanation for much of their actions.

However, never in my wildest flights of fantasy, including some real doozies when suffering from high fever (talking dogs concluding the Pater Noster "But send us some mousies so we can chew on their heads," for example. Blasphemy or over empathizing with the mutts' point of view.), never in my most desperate efforts to come up with a story idea or set piece to insert in a story did I ever imagine we would hear one of the puppetmasters admitting the truth. Or to display the arrogance of power to to dare to complain that the soi disant Leader of the Free World actually dared to think for himself rather than doing what he was told by the puppetmaster in question.

It's a shame W didn't start freeing himself from Cheney's (and others') strings sooner. If there are any qualities in our current President (and I do mean this statement to apply to Presidents after Mr. Obama) that in the slightest make them fit to be leaders, hopefully they will demonstrate the adult sexuality hormone producing organs to slip their leashes sooner than W did. and a higher regard for the Constitution and liberty, of course.

A.X. Perez

The 2009 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize
£1,000 to be Won

In honour of Dr Chris R. Tame (1949-2006), The Libertarian Alliance offers a yearly prize of £1,000 for an essay on a subject to be announced by Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance. This year, the Prize has been most generously sponsored by Teresa Gorman, long-term conservative and libertarian activist and formerly Conservative Member of Parliament for Billericay.

By the 16th October 2009, contestants are invited to submit essays to Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance.

Essay Title: "Can a Libertarian also be a Conservative?"
Essay Length: 3,000 words excluding notes and bibliography

Explanatory Note

Do libertarians believe, almost by definition, is a society so radically different from anything that has so far existed that they have nothing in common with conservatives? Is it the case that the working relationship between libertarians and conservatives during the 20th century was never more than an alliance of necessity against state socialism? Was that relationship even a terrible mistake? Are the natural allies of libertarians the anti-state socialists rather than defenders of an old order that was happy to kill and oppress when it was able? Is libertarianism, as Roderick Long believes, the real "proletarian revolution"? Or, on the other hand, does liberty, if it is to last for any reasonable time, require conservative institutions? Is it wise to discard past experience as irrelevant to the future? Is there an argument for putting up with imperfect but broadly libertarian institutions, on the grounds that to change them involves the risk of losing all freedom? If most European types of conservatism are incompatible with libertarianism, is it the same with English conservatism?

These are some of the themes that might usefully be explored in answering my question. Please note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list. I am looking for something original and interesting—not a set of answers to each of the above sub-questions thrown into essay form. I am also not looking for detailed analyses of Mr Cameron or the Conservative Party. My questions is more about conservatives than Conservatives.


  • Essays must be original and previously unpublished works.

  • Essays must be submitted in English and typed and in hard copy by sending to The Libertarian Alliance, Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6H, United Kingdom.

  • Essays must also be submitted by e-mail and in MS Word format to Sean Gabb— .

  • Essays must bear the name and full address of the author, including his e-mail address. The name does not need to be genuine, but work submitted under what Sean Gabb considers an absurd pseudonym may be rejected. Certainly, the prize money will be by cheque, and so must be made out to a real person.

  • Essays must have been received ain both hard and soft copy no later than Friday the 16th October 2009.

  • The winner will be announced on the evening of Saturday the 25th October 2008, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London.

  • The winner will be required to make a ten minute acceptance speech on Saturday the 275th October 2008, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London. This speech may be made in person, or by pre-recorded video, or may be read out by Sean Gabb, .

  • The prize will be £1,000, made out to the winner and payable in Sterling by cheque drawn on one of the United Kingdom clearing banks. No other form of payment will be considered.

  • The winning essay will be published by the Libertarian Alliance. All essays submitted will be published by the Libertarian Alliance.

  • In all matters of deciding the winner of the Prize and in all associated matters, the decision of Sean Gabb shall be final.

  • The act of submitting an essay shall constitute full acceptance of these terms

  • This prize competition is not open to any Officer of the Libertarian Alliance or of the Libertarian International.

For all questions, please contact Sean Gabb, though be prepared to wait for an answer.

Sean Gabb
Director, The Libertarian Alliance (Carbon Positive since 1979)
Tel: 07956 472 199
Skype Username: seangabb

Wikipedia Entry:

Buy these novels by Richard Blake: Conspiracies of Rome ("Fascinating to read, very well written, an intriguing plot" Derek Jacobi); Terror of Constantinople ("Nasty, fun and educational" The Daily Telegraph)

William Kostric recently achieved notoriety by showing up as a protestor to a speech being made by President Obama. He was (legally ) packing heat and carrying a sign stating "It is time to water the Tree of Liberty." While researching the story I ran into a comment to the effect that people need to grow "thinker skin." I'm sure this was a typo and as a typo king I can not "criticiz". But maybe this typo is quite instructive. We do need to grow thinker skin, learn to put our brains in gear before we react to events around us. On the one hand we could get rid of the political correctness police, those who want to use the honest need to eradicate racism to suppress free speech, for example. on the other, we can grow more aware of real threats to liberty and plan appropriate responses, including ones not based on force or threats of force. Grow thinker skin.

Speaking of watering the Tree of Liberty, Larry flint published an article in Friday 21 August's Huffington Post quoting Jefferson's line. He used it in the context of complaining about how the Demicans and Republicats have sold out to the big Bankers and describing what he considered an appropriate reaction to the current situation in the cozy relationship of bankers and government.

Gee wonder where I've read people saying the same thing? Hopefully the solution he hopes to achieve won't be a case of trading one tyranny for another.

Thinker skinner, a very good turn of phrase, don't you agree.

A.X. Perez

Twice lately I have referred to the judicial principal, "Necessity knows no law." Basically this means that a person has the right to protect is life and well being and that this outweighs his obligation to obey the law. It does not mean that if a junkie breaks into a house, is confronted by an armed homeowner and kills the homeowner in the ensuing struggle the junkie will be held blameless. It does mean that if said junkie is lost out in the boonies and breaks into a line shack to avoid a blizzard he won't do time for trespass and burglary. For more nuanced and precise examples talk to a lawyer.

One of the signs of the tyrant is that so many of his actions create circumstances where people are forced more and more to fall back on this principal to survive. It's against the law to hunt in the king's forest, but you and your family will starve to death if you don't. A just king would respond by permitting his peasants more opportunities to hunt or otherwise obtain food. A Tyrant would come up with stricter laws against hunting, stricter policies to enforce that law, and stricter penalties for breaking it.

"The law was made for man, not man for the law." said the Carpenter King. Those who take the opposite approach are tyrants, those who adjust the law to fit the needs of men are just rulers. It's been a while since I've seen a congress or president who got this.

A.X. Perez

If you are a "serious" horror/fantasy fan you have read The King in Yellow or should do so immediately. It is a collection of short stories most of which revolve around the play The King in Yellow, which of course originally only existed in fiction. Attempts have been made to actually write the damn thing, but in fact none of them have been successful.

According to the story line The King in Yellow drives anyone who reads it mad and has therefor been banned. This becomes a theme in horror, a book or secret so terrible that to read it will drive one mad and therefor the book or story in question must be banned. There are rumors of a suicide song, one that has been banned because hearing it will cause the auditor to go into and act upon a suicidal depression.

One has to wonder how long it will be before the writings of Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, and yes even Hamilton (read his remarks on the absolute right of the people to be armed, for example) are added to the list of works banned because they trigger insanity. And not in a fictional world, but in the real one.

A.X. Perez


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