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L. Neil Smith's
Number 593, October 31, 2010

"These times aren't exiting, they are downright exhilarating!"

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Letter from L. Neil Smith to The Coloradoan

Another Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Richard Bartucci

Another Letter from A.X. Perez with a Comment from L. Neil Smith and Ye Olde Editor

Letter from Craig Goodrich

Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Ted Ball


I was a reserve officer when Dell Bean was doing forensic work for the FCPD. In a couple of conversations he explained his law enforcement philosophy, based on individual self-reliance. When I recently became aware of his candidacy for sheriff, I was pleased, especially by his take on self-defense issues.

Twenty years ago, I coined the phrase "Vermont Carry".

So add my enthusiastic endorsement to Dell's list, and label me "award-winning novelist and self-defense advocate". It will give me great pleasure to vote for him.

L. Neil Smith

"Rocky and Bullwinkle" creator dies at age 90 [LINK]

L. Neil Smith

Getting it before you get yours

The Republicans and Democrats don't get it. Americans are tired of taxes that guarantee the power of the haves and impede the progress of those who would rise in social class. We are tired of drug laws that are written and enforced in such a way as to enrich criminals rather than to cure drug abuse. We are tired of weapons laws designed to disarm honest folk while doing nothing to disarm criminals.

We are tired of civil rights laws enforced in such a way that they create racial hatred instead of racial harmony. We are tired of being told we must be afraid and that the only way to get rich is to steal it. The Tea Party is the result. The right is trying to coopt them as the radical right wing of the Republican party and the left is hoping that the right succeeds. Well kiddos it's time for a whole new game and 2 November 2010 is just the first round. Let's see if the Democrats and Republicans can learn it before they join the soviets in the dustbin of history.

These times aren't exiting, they are downright exhilarating!

A.X. Perez

[Brother Perez, you done said a mouthfull!—Editor]

Re: "Another Letter from A.X. Perez"

Heinlein's Take Back Your Government is maintained in multiple formats as an eBook by Baen Books, the preface and first two chapters (with an introduction written by Jerry Pournelle) online at [this link]

Richard Bartucci

The biggest problem with American Education is that the system is really not sure of what it wants.

Consider: One of the main goals of American public education was to Americanize and assimilate immigrants. Except in the south and southwest where one of the goals was to exclude dark skinned Latino and Black students and keep them in second class citizenship. (Status of light skinned Latinos was and is complex, one reason I distrust politicians. All I'll say here is that there is a difference between assimilating and selling out.) So we are trying to assimilate people and exclude them at the same time.

Meanwhile, we are expected to enforce stricter education standards while reducing failure rates.

I won't comment on the feminizing of America in schools, this simply reflects the growing number of women raising kids without a father to help. The Increase in men who do not meet their obligation to their progeny is an issue I'll leave to others. Just remember agents of the state are ready willing and too damn eager to take Dad's place.

With the first two going on the state requires that younguns attend until they are 17 or so under penalty of criminal prosecution. The state has an unfair price advantage giving it a near monopoly in education. Even if you home school or send your kids to private school they must meet state standards to get a high school diploma or GED.

Meanwhile our misleaders keep talking about making all our students above average. Instead they should be talking about raising the standard for average. As long as politicians misuse the language so and voters let them get away with it the system is broken and at best you can hope that some kids who wants to make themselves smarter will somehow pair up with enough of the right teachers (including the occasional incompetent jerk who angers said students into excelling out of spite. ) to help him succeed.

I am of the opinion that kids have a right to an education. Right now the game is rigged so that the state monopolizes meeting this need. We need an alternative free market model that isn't just a scam of the existing system.

A.X. Perez

And L. Neil Smith commented:

Even if you home school or send your kids to private school they must meet state standards to get a high school diploma or GED.

Not at all. As I said, Rylla went from total nonexistence, as far as the state was concerned, to finishing in the uppermost 2 percent or so on her GED, without any intermediate steps.

We need an alternative free market model that isn't just a scam of the existing system.

No, we don't. And that was the point of my essay. The notion of "school" as something apart from life in the family is toxic and pernicious. Before there were schools, kids learned from their parents or anybody else who knew things. We're in a far better position to do that now, than at any other point in human history. I really think we need to uproot and chop to pieces the whole idea of schooling, and get on with teaching our kids ourselves, as our ancestors did (with fewer tools than we have) for 50,000 years or so.

Of course to do that, we need to get rid of certain obstacles, the foremost of which is taxation. I mentioned wanting a regime in which one parent could stay home. What I really want is a regime in which both parents can stay home. Read my Maidenform Bra speech, because there's no need for anyone to work at a "job" for more than four hours a week.

If that.

L. Neil Smith

Ye Old Editor remarks:

I was considered the weird kid by all my relatives: I liked to read. Going to school shore did slow down my education.

Ken Holder
The Libertarian Enterprise

The Election Circus


Once again the immensely entertaining spectacle of Elections is upon us—although over the last few cycles, I've had the queasy feeling that my amusement is more and more similar to the fascination of Group B Christians as they look through the grate at Group A Christians being devoured by the lions.

This time around it is (slightly) reassuring to see that there is a growing understanding of what the term "limited government" means and why it is central to the Constitutional idea—which, as most of us anarchists will admit (looking through the grate) is radically imperfect but a hell of a lot better than the authoritarian schemes everybody else seems to be pushing.

As I watched the coverage of the exceptionally entertaining New York governor's race debate, it occurred to me that the only candidate who came out of the debacle with both dignity and integrity was Jimmy McMillan, who maintained a laser-like focus on his message and refused to be distracted. Now, Mr. McM is of a hard-core statist persuasion, and I disagree with him on nearly every possible philosophical point, but I respect his single-minded dedication to his issue. He is the candidate of the /Rent is Too Damn High Party/.

So perhaps there is a tactical lesson to be learned. The Libertarian Party has not been extremely successful in the polls. I am in the early planning stages of a new political entity, the There Are Too Damn Many Neo-Marxist Totalitarian Imbeciles Trying To Run My Life And Destroy The Economy Party, which may have a voter attraction that "Libertarian" does not. Anyone interested in this effort may contact me at the usual disreputable Internet locations.

Craig Goodrich

By now I'm sure you've all discovered that if someone has an unsecured wireless network internet connection. people outside your house can "piggyback" on to get on the net. I do not wish to debate the morality or legality of doing so at this time, I am merely noting the fact that it happens quite a bit.

If a person for his own good reasons chooses to let his neighbors enjoy free use of his wireless net this is generosity. If for his own good reasons he stops doing so (for example if his internet provider makes it clear they expect everyone to secure their net connections or else...) and his neighbor finds a way to get a free ride that is theft. These things are obvious.

If said neighbor goes to court to force the first party to continue to provide internet service gratis and and in fact get a stronger wireless link and actually succeeds that is socialism.

Y'all can have fun discussing and debating the legality and ethics of getting free wireless service off your neighbor without getting permission first. just don't forget the gradient, generosity, theft, socialism.

ISP's are in fact not overjoyed by people letting other people obtain their product for free by not securing their wireless links. They generally charge a licensing fee if you feel you need to do this. This of course exacerbates the theft/socialism nature of forcing someone to let others use their wireless service for free.

A.X. Perez

Over 20 years ago, I met a fellow at the local karate club—from Burundi, he was, who said the same thing as your European friend. An aside—for the geographically challenged, Burundi is a small landlocked African country, is just below Rwanda, to the left of Tanzania, and to the right of the 'Democratic' 'Republic' of Congo.

Anyway, he was well-educated, calm and even by temperament & personality, had a wonderful wife and child. I would guess he came from what would be an upper or upper-middle class background in Burundi. His martial arts skill was from a different style than ours was, which was no problem—we ain't style purists and hell, he just wanted to train. So, I got to know him. He was over here getting an advanced degree in engineering; we trained together several times a week and socialized outside of that. Neat guy, neat family. After a few years he and his family went back, and all of us were sad to see them go.

He was truly perplexed, IMO not in a hoplophobic way, about our American preference for firearms. (Not everybody I train with is, but I find that many people who train unarmed self-defense have no problems with _armed_ self-defense: if one decides one has the right to defend oneself, the only difference there is the instrumentality.) I mentioned that people own weapons for self-defense, sport, hunting—all sorts of reasons—but that most gun owners who have bought their own have self-defense (and their *right* to do so) in mind... in my opinion.

To make a short story long... A few months after his return, the US news was full of stories and images of horrible civil strife in Burundi. Hutu tribe folks vs. another tribe. It may have been a by-product of the same thing going on in Rwanda, I don't know. Burning, shooting, raping, machetes... I don't remember who did what, which tribal affiliation was offense and which was defense.

It was the last we heard from him or his family, though.

I fear that he figured out, too late, why folks keep weapons around and are proficient in their use.

Ted Ball


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