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L. Neil Smith's
Number 626, July 3, 2011

"All-day Field Fascist-Fest"

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Dangerous Babies
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

In the middle of last month, while you slept (or struggled to earn a paycheck so you could turn half of it over to governments at various levels) America was invaded by alien forces—by which I mean forces alien to every last principle that once made this country worth living in.

Or fighting for.

According to a copyrighted story in the Parkersburg (West Virginia) News and Sentinel written by Pamela Brust, the Transportation Security Administration—those detestable gropers and perverts of song and lawsuit—in conjunction with other federal, state, and local agencies held an all-day field fascist-fest Wednesday, June 14, covering 5,000 square miles of what they termed the "Ohio River Transportation Corridor", a huge area covering parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, all under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security, and cleverly dubbed "Visible Intermodel Prevention and Response".

"VIPR", get it?

When I was considerably younger, and married to someone other than my "present" wife of 28 years, in a sort of Maoist "self-criticism" session, I was browbeaten by my then-wife's parents—who happened to be both communists and failed writers—into going to see a marriage counselor, partially because of my own absolutely grim determination to become a novelist ("Nobody ever finishes their first book," I was informed authoritatively, "and even if they do, they never manage to sell it") but mostly, I suspect, because I was, as I remain, a libertarian.

But once the shrink got hold of us, it turned out it was all about me, not us. I wanted to write science fiction for a living. I owned and enjoyed guns. My seven-year-old retail and consulting business was failing. I'd dropped out of school—I'd been majoring in psychology—after five years because, among a great many other things, I didn't believe that statistics can be applied in the real world to real human beings.

The shrink's most profound observation was that I looked like a "dangerous baby". I had no idea what he meant by that. At the time, I was a bit overweight, and I was, and am, as dangerous as any human being who believes he owns his own life. Despite myself—and the fact, obvious to me, that I was twice as smart as this fourflusher— the phrase perplexed and hurt me for many years, until I figured out that it was empty words, without any real meaning, that the guy had been saving up, probably for ages, to use when it might do the most damage.

I vaguely remember naming a racehorse or something "Dangerous Baby" in one of my stories, and forgetting about the whole thing. The "solution" to my problems, if any, arrived when I met, fell in love with, and eventually married the woman who calls herself my _last_ wife.

Lately, however, I have discovered a context in which that odd expression, "dangerous baby" is the most appropriate possible. If you've attended a local science fiction convention any time in the last forty years, then you'll remember the kid (if you were one of these and eventually grew out of it, I salute you)—usually male, overweight, and pimply—who, armed with a walkie-talkie, swaggered around in a sweat-stained faded t-shirt emblazoned with the word "Security". He clearly enjoyed his imagined authority over others, and probably aspired to be a police officer or a member of the Special Forces.

In short, an over-aged infant.

Today, as seems likely, if he couldn't make the cut (psychological or otherwise) for the local police department, the sheriff's office, the military, or any federal agency from the FBI right down to the bottom of the barrel, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, he can still count on being accepted as a TSA crotch grabber.

And his fondest infantile wish can be fulfilled at last, as he runs around the five-state area of Operation VIPR, with an automatic weapon at his shoulder, and on his belt, an autopistol, the bludgeon that is eumphemistically referred to as a "baton", and a license to grope.

He has become a dangerous baby.

And once again, I have digressed.

As few as a dozen years ago, all this would have been the stuff of conspiracy theory, or science fiction: Blackhawk helicopters roaring overhead, armed boats plying the waters below, hundreds of machinegun- toting mental and moral midgets in black Kevlar, Nazi helmets, face shields, and ski masks, accompanied by the hounds of war, spreading themselves out across the innocent American countryside, stopping individuals at airports, train depots, bus stations, on the highways, interrupting the smooth flow of their lives, harassing them, searching them, every bit of it without so much as a by-your-leave, speaking Constitutionally.

But that was then.

Now it's just another day in the recent, regrettable history of a once-great nation nobody can possibly deny anymore has become a police state. The "Visible" part of the name is a not-so-subtle reference to the actual reason for the operation; it was an exercise in pure state terrorism, an open threat, delivered by a runaway government, that it is more than willing to resolve its disagreements with an increasingly restive population through "pacification by force"—as the British euphemized their attempt to exterminate the Aboriginal population of Australia.

You can't make an omelet, at least so we're told, without breaking a few eggs. Nor can you make a socialist utopia without murdering a few million innocent individuals. Well worth it, Madelyn Albright would rush to assure us, but that kind of thing requires practice.

ACLU, where are you, you miserable craven cowards, as the country you claim to love, and the Constitution you claim to revere are being shredded into unrecognizability? Are you cowering under the bed with one thumb in your mouth and the other up your ass? Or are you on your feet with a champagne flute in your hand, celebrating because—given your early socialist origins—this is what you secretly wanted all along?

How about you, Landmark Legal Foundation, right wing equivalent of the ACLU? We've long been aware that the National Rifle Association's twisted view of politics is that it doesn't hurt as much when we do it to ourselves. So is being crushed under the bootheel of an oppressive state really acceptable when it's "our" bootheel, and "our" oppressive state?

If I'm wrong about either of you, prove it. Show me—show the rest of America—some resistance to the coup that's being pulled off all around us. As it is, if you were on fire, I wouldn't cross the street to piss either of you out. To hell with the wars in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, or Iraq. How about ending the war that this outlaw government wages here, against the American people and their Bill of Rights?

If you think I'm being absurd or paranoid about any of this, go to Wikipedia—or any other source you consider authoritative—and look up the infamous "Highland Clearances", a long series of genocidal atrocities that the British carried out against the Scottish people, not in the Dark Ages or some benighted medieval times, but right up through the oh-so-terribly civilized 19th century of Queen Victoria. Today we would call it (at least I would) "subjugation by state terror".

The Highland Scots, who had raised red-pelted cattle for uncounted generations, were rounded up, their cattle killed, their lands stolen, their homes burned, their villages destroyed, and were force-marched to the rugged coast where, when they asked what they might do to stay alive, were informed with sadistic glee that they should gather seaweed.

In collusion with the United Nations, the program that it proudly calls "Agenda 21", and the world's self-appointed would-be elite, our current rulers have something very much like this in mind for us. The real question isn't "Am I being paranoid?" It's "Am I being paranoid enough?"

I couldn't have been much older than eleven, in about Sixth Grade, when I first understood that the answers to all the world's problems had already been discovered—or devised—but that nobody wanted to hear them, because they required thought. Because they required intelligence. Because they required effort. Because they required character. Because they required integrity. Because they required courage.

Not to overlook a modicum of sanity.

In the half-century or so since then, my continuing studies of history and human nature have failed to prove me wrong in any of this. Not one of these attributes is anything that we're accustomed to seeing in academics, media personalities, journalists, or any of the politicians in the Democratic, Republican, or the current Libertarian parties.

Nevertheless, it isn't a matter of rocket science; it isn't a matter of brain surgery. The relentlessly ongoing Nazification of America, a splendidly bipartisan undertaking by the Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations, can be stopped in its tracks, even now.

Remember that wonderful Tea Party summer we all enjoyed last year? We need another just like that, and every participant must strive to keep it leaderless, centerless, and on-topic. I don't trust a single one of these overly-organized entities calling itself Tea Party, Inc., or They're nothing but attempts by one establishment or other to co-opt the freedom movement and render it ineffective. I trust the people I know, and the people I know have other people they trust, and so on. We also need a Tea Party winter, when we can work on a five-point plan to put an end to state terrorism for once and for all.

All of us who want to, that is.

Point One: disarm all federal employees and their surrogates. If the FBI or DEA or EPA thinks it has business in your community it can damn well call the local sheriff—who is subject to diselection by the people whose rights are involved—for permission and possible assistance.

Point Two: eliminate every government agency that isn't authorized specifically to exist by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Go look: it's an extremely short list. Abolish everything that isn't on that list, and you might be left with something resembling a free country.

Point Three: fully restore the _Posse Comitatus_, a law passed in 1876 in the light of the travesty that was the War Between the States, that is still in effect, but was severely watered down by Congress during the first Bush Administration, if I recall correctly, and has been violated daily since the excuse provided by 9/11. The PC forbids military operations anywhere within the continental U.S. Proper enforcement of this law would have precluded the TSA/DHS VIPR terror exercise.

Point Four: bring our troops, most of them reservists, home from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and 140 other countries—where history will show they are being kept out of the way of the current administration's ambitions—so they can help defend us against Obama's "national security force as well-funded and powerful as the military".

Point Five, and most important: introduce and pass into law a Constitutional amendment, establishing a penalty for violating any provision of the Bill of Rights. Make it as stringent as possible— absolutely Draconian—so that our children and our grandchildren won't have to go through this nonsense all over again. Here's what I suggest:

Any official, appointed or elected, at any level of government, who attempts, through legislative act or other means, to nullify, evade, or avoid the provisions of the first ten amendments to this Constitution, or of the Thirteenth Amendment, shall be summarily removed from office, and, upon conviction, deprived of all pay and benefits including pension, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.

In the 1930s, looking to receive a nice, thick, quivering, bloody strip of you and me, our great-grandparents formed "Townsend Clubs" across the land, collecting some 22 million petition signatures aimed at forcing upon the country that abomination we now call "Social Security". I believe that "Bill of Rights Clubs", formed to push this Penalty Clause into the Constitution could undo a great deal of that damage.

One more thing. When this amendment comes up for discussion (and you should make damn sure it does), in local bars, in town halls, on radio or television or the Internet, _do not_ allow yourself to be drawn into a debate about whether or not the amendment is a good idea. Instead, let the "progressives" and the weak-kneed RINOs and LINOs argue about whether I was foolish or naive in leaving out a death penalty.

That ought to occupy them and allow us to get the amendment passed.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas is currently running as a free weekly serial at

Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.

See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at are on his website

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