Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 628, July 17, 2011

"There is nothing wrong with America today except that it's
run by and for the criminal class and always has been."

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Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from Paul Bonneau

Friends and family, fiends and familiars,

I recently inducted into a "Skeptics" group on FaceBook, but it's not looking good. It's filled with weenies and Nerfs who are presently bleating about how backing various conspiracy theories makes us look bad. One particular idiot is saying that even of the theories are true, we should distance ourselves for appearance' sake.

I finally got pissed and wrote the following:

Shawn and Atom, you couldn't be more wrong. We live in an Empire of Lies. We swim through an ocean of lies, and people deserve to know what they are. They appreciate knowing, once you prove it to them. Trust me, I suspect I've been at this for longer than you've been alive, 49 years, since 1962, and I know what I'm talking about.

Do not mistake your own prissy distaste for hearing the plain and ugly truth for anybody else's. There are, of course, theories that are crap. ("Chemtrails" comes to mind.) But I suggest you read _The Creature from Jekyll Island_. It's about the proven and well-acknowledged conspiracy in 1913 to saddle us with the Federal Reserve and a graduated personal income tax. This stuff does not—I repeat, does _not_—turn people off, it makes them mad, which is what we need them to be.

I don't know why you're so frantic and hysterical about conspiracy theories. Unlike you—who are essentially claiming to be telepathic and aware of what other people think at all times—I do know that you'd better get used to these ideas and learn to use them, because there will always be people like me, with a tall soapbox and a loud voice. Google me, or look me up at Wikipedia. I welcome with enthusiasm anyone who questions my credentials as a libertarian or a rational thinker. It's fun to embarrass them in public and then go right on telling people how it really is.

Don't whimper or hide under a rock, guys.

Get some scrote.

L. Neil Smith

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Re: DataPacRat's Quantifying Liberty

What DataPacRat is talking about increasing here is not liberty. It is just the old utilitarian "greatest good for the greatest number". Collectivist garbage in yields collectivist garbage out.

If you consider it at an individual level, not a collectivist one, it is clear that it's possible to be poor and free, or rich and a slave. Being able to buy lots of stuff is not the same as freedom, even though where there is freedom there generally are a lot of individuals who can buy a lot of stuff. Correlation is not causation.

Like DataPacRat I am a spreadsheet junkie and enjoy reading the indexes for what they can do (I even created one myself, the Wyoming Liberty Index, and I worked on the Free State Project spreadsheet). But I've come to the realization that there are limits to the utility of spreadsheets, to the amount of useful information you can get from them. Freedom is not a high score on a spreadsheet; it is going out and doing what the hell you want to do without some asshole getting in your way. Often this is hard to quantify. For one thing, the world of scientific studies is itself corrupted by state influence and control, so the data collected is suspect. Quantifying is what the state does, generally to justify more legislation and control. For another, freedom consists at least partly in not being put under a microscope; the census resistance was people acting free.

Yeah, spreadsheets are fun, but keep your priorities clear.

Paul Bonneau

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