Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 608, February 20, 2011


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Federal Marshals Threaten, Censor Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith
Publisher and Senior Columnist

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For the first time, in its sixteenth year of publication, this journal of libertarian views and opinion—bound by an absolute moral resolve never to initiate force against anyone for any reason, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation—has been threatened by agents of the federal government and ordered to remove content from its website.

We have done so. When you learn, in a general way, what that content consisted of, you will be perplexed, at first, then angrier and angrier as you see what has been done to what was once a free country, and realize precisely who is most responsible for having done it.

Last August, TLE ran a piece by our frequent contributor Jim Davidson about the hypocrisy of the federal judiciary. Three federal judges had just authorized a practice in which armed government agents could feel free to trespass on a citizen's property without a warrant or probable cause, in order to affix a GPS tracker to that citizen's car.

Our columnist's natural and logical response was to deprive these judges of privacy the same way they were allowing the privacy of the individuals who pay their salaries (however involuntarily) to be violated. Using only publicly available sources, he published their names, addresses, and other information. Let me state that again, so there can be no mistake: he published their names, addresses, and other such information which he had obtained from purely public sources.

This week—six months later—we have been notified, first by our domain registrar, then in an e-mail from the U.S. Marshals' "service" that we must remove the offending article from TLE's website, in order to assure the safety of the judges and their families. (This, of course, begs the question, why in the hell their information is publicly available if it constitutes a threat to their safety.) has refused to answer reasonable questions about this affair—such as precisely what Terms of Service we were in violation of—instead simply repeating the order to remove the material.

We have complied.

I used to have a little respect for the U.S. Marshals' "service". They had a long, distinguished history, and for some reason, they seemed cleaner to me, nobler, better than the bottom of the barrel scrapings infesting other federal "law enforcement" agencies, like the ones, for example, that disgraced themselves at Ruby Ridge and Mount Carmel.

I wonder if any of them ever thought, when they were growing up, dreaming little kid dreams of being the "goodguys" and saving folks from the "badguys", that they'd end up merely doing the bidding of corrupt and irrational federal judges, thuggishly intimidating the very folks they once dreamed of saving, helping a new and unAmerican aristocracy to establish themselves as an elite with rights—like simple privacy—that ordinary individuals are no longer allowed to enjoy.

But we have complied.

And yet, our compliance is not without its cost. Everyone who reads this will now understand a little better what those who wish to rule their lives are made of. And they will know—as if they didn't know already—that these distinguished, cleaner, nobler keepers of the peace are nothing more than a cruel myth. And that knowledge—enough of it—will be all that it takes to change the course of history.

Meanwhile, whom do we hold responsible for this unjustifiable violation of the First Amendment? The Republican administration of Abraham Lincoln was probably not the first, but was by far the worst of its time. Presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt began to see the people as their property and treated them accordingly.

The RICO Act was specifically designed to deprive the accused of representation in court. The authorities and their stooges in media work overtime to convince us that anyone who "lawyers up" is guilty. Agencies like the FBI and CIA are not authorized in the Constitution. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have ever said a word to stop these practices.

Now we have the Department of Homeland Security which officially regards the average American wage earner, homemaker, student, hunter, sportsman, scholar of the Bible or the Constitution as an uncaught criminal. The so-called Transportation Safety Administration shakes down just as many inmates of this nation-sized prison as it can every day.

So who is to blame? Those who do the shaking. Those who abuse their fellow citizens for no other reason than that they can. Or because the sociopaths in power have paid them to do so. And we, the abused, are forced at gunpoint to give them half of everything we earn.

And we have complied.


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