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L. Neil Smith's
Number 651, January 1, 2012

"A century of incompetent, irrational, murderous foreign policy"

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"And So, Ad Infinitum"
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

When you get to be my age, time flies whether you're having fun or not.

A while back (it was seventeen years ago, 1995, the year of the Oklahoma City bombing) I had written, within a few hours of the event, an article called "Bill Clinton's Reichstag Fire" in which I didn't say that Waco Willie was responsible for the destruction of the Murrah Building, only that he would try to use it to advance his political agenda.

I was absolutely right, of course. Virtually the first thing out of his vile, smarmy, twisted mouth was that, in some mysterious way, conservative talk radio had caused the bombing and 168 deaths. He didn't name Rush Limbaugh, but everybody knew who he meant to attack. It's easy to be right about Bill Clinton: just expect the worst, the lowest, the slimiest of him every time, and you can never go very far wrong.

Strangely enough, the one and only criticism I ever received about the article from real human beings in the real world was bewilderingly irrational, that I had written and posted it too quickly, as if there were some kind of decent interval before you were allowed to oppose fascism.

But a while later, in an entire issue wasted—er, dedicated to exposing the ideological horrors of the Internet, owing to the article I'd written, a Canadian publication that claims to be a news magazine, attempted to smear me, by association, in the good old-fashioned left wing way, as a racist. Why a racist? What in the name of St. John Moses Browning's ghost did that have to do with what had happened in Oklahoma? Nothing—but it was the only argument they had left, even then.

I suppose it would have been futile to point out to them that Oklahoma City was supposed to have happened in reprisal for what the BATFE and FBI had done at Mount Carmel, where the government murdered about a hundred people, two dozen of them children and most of them non-white.

But I digress.

I admit that these Canadians had no way of knowing I was brought up to react viscerally to such an accusation. To my mother, racial prejudice was the fail-proof litmus test (sort of like Heinlein and astrology) for stupidity and self-confessed inferiority, and my dad was a proud officer in a brand new United States Air Force that was grimly determined not to discriminate against anybody for reasons of color.

I wrote the magazine an open letter, which I called "A Maple Leaf Rag"—read it here, in this issue of The Libertarian Enterprise—generally telling them things about themselves of which they were already well aware, but probably didn't like much. I made a list of the protagonists of my fifteen novels to that point and was surprised, myself, to discover that a sizeable majority of them were not exactly white.

Mind you, it wasn't anything I'd planned. When I started each of the books, I just thought it would be more interesting if Win Bear, say, were a Ute Indian, and Emerson Ngu were half Cambodian and half Vietnamese.

They responded, offering me reply space in their next issue. But they'd already shown me what they were—leftists who think it's dangerous and crazy to let people run their own lives; moral cannibals who want every dime you ever earned, every dime you have now, and every dime you'll ever earn in the future—and I didn't trust them. They wouldn't promise not to edit me, so I turned them down, saying that my own writings likely reached more people than theirs did, anyway.

In my letter, I never named the magazine—a practice of the late Paul Harvey that I admired—knowing that they would want my readers to know who they were. The joke is that they were (and may still be) the largest Canadian news magazine in print. A better joke is that they have a pitiful circulation of about 300,000, and it appears to be sliding.

Three years later, in 1998, when some neofascist with a head full of monkey-slobber somehow decided that his type and libertarians were fellow travelers, I wrote another open letter, which you can read here.

Some people never listen (as Don McLean pointed out) and never learn. The latest in this seemingly endless line of chuckleheads is a Democrat, self-confessed, bent on proving that crackpot conspiracy theories (as opposed to theories about real conspiracies) are not the exclusive purview of right-wing crazies. This gink—let's call him Harvey Wallbanger, because I don't want to give him any more publicity than that—has concocted a doozy, involving Ron Paul, Eric Dondero, Thomas Knapp, and yours truly, with an organization I had never heard of until I read about it on Harvey's blog: the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Now if you read this article, "A Maple Leaf Rag", and the 1998 item linked to, above, you pretty much know who and what I am, an obsessively prolific writer on all subjects relating to individual liberty.

I expect that you know who and what Ron Paul is, too, and that the "baggage" the media refer to is mythical, a series of newsletters written by a hired hand that are only racist when viewed through the funhouse-mirrored glasses of those who call themselves "progressives" because they dirtied the word "liberal" to the point it can't be used today.

It may not be an exaggeration to say that were a conservative to use the phrase "asphalt is black", "progressives" (they tend to leave libertarians alone—we bite) would claim he'd said blacks are asses and it's their own fault. Forced to account for such lunacy, they'd fall back on, "It's a code, see, among right-wing bigots!" If you think me wrong, consider the outraged letters and calls that Limbaugh got when he used the word "niggardly" (look it up) on his radio program.

Eric Dondero I can't tell you much about. According to Harvey, the fellow has said some nice things about me on the Internet, and I appreciate it. I have some vague memories of his being not so nice— and not so libertarian—on other occasions. Suffice it to say, however, if Mr. Dondero and I are involved in a secret conspiracy of some sort together, it's so thoroughly secret that I don't know about it.

The notorious Thomas Knapp is another matter altogether. I have known that villainous rascal for many years. We disagree on quite a number of things—he believes that a fetus is a human being whose rights must be protected, and I do not—but it's completely within the parameters of libertarianism. We have held forth shoulder to shoulder on a number of other occasions. Tom is a fine man, a highly principled libertarian, and a good person to have at your back in a fight. It doesn't hurt a bit that he understands my work better than most. He would spit on anyone who calls him a racist, so look out, Harvey.

Now understand and remember that our boy Harvey is a "progressive" Democrat, and that unfortunates like him appear to have a chunk of their brains missing, sort of like an aphasic who can point to an object when you name it, sometimes even write down what it is, but cannot produce the name, verbally, himself. They can only argue (if you are willing to call it that) with nouns, generally with proper nouns.

For years, in college, whenever I made a social, political, or economic observation, this type would brilliantly counter, "Oh, Ayn Rand!" Only they usually called her "Ann". Over the past twenty years, the same observations would elicit the response, "Oh, Rush Limbaugh!" Someday if I do my job right, they'll say, "Oh, L. Neil Smith!"

So when Harvey is upset because I say the War Between the States had little or nothing to do with slavery, when he can't counter facts like the way slaves were used throughout the war to rebuild the U.S. Capitol dome or do drudge work for the Northern army instead of being liberated, when he wishes to describe the full width and depth of my iniquity, all he can muster is "gun freak", "Ayn Rand freak", and "global warming denialist", the last as dumb a neologism as I've ever seen.

Desperate to add anything he can to my list of crimes, for some reason Harvey says I claim to have joined the Libertarian Party in 1972, gaining nothing except some head-scratching on the part of those who know me, some of whom were there when it happened. If I had wanted to tell an impressive lie, I'd have said 1971, when the LP was founded in my friend Dave Nolan's living room. But, as I say, the fellow's desperate.

Perhaps strangest of all, Harvey also posts two photographs of me, taken by my wife, in front of our house, eight or ten years apart, in which, to his eyes, anyway, I have not apparently aged. He appends the notation "Dorian Gray?" as if it were an indictment. Clearly the guy's a marble short of a game of Chinese Checkers. Or maybe he's just going bald.

My most heinous sin, however, the wobbly foundation of a theory he says has been ten years in the making, is that my iconoclastic essay "The American Lenin" was reposted on the website of this Council of Conservative Citizens I mentioned earlier. According to Wikipedia, admittedly, not always the best guide, this is a white nationalist, white separatist organization, meaning, ironically, that they believe exactly the same things about race relations that Dishonest Abe did, himself.

Of course the Las Vegas Review-Journal also ran it. Does that mean I'm an advocate of gambling? I get cross-posted dozens of times, on websites, blogs, and print publications all around the world. My material gets read on the radio. Sometimes people ask permission, sometimes they don't. But I write to be read—I earn my living writing books—and I don't really care where my essays, columns, and articles show up, as long as they're properly credited and remain unaltered.

A courtesy Harvey wasn't man enough to grant me when he reprinted my recent "Herman Cain, Fugitive Slave". Nor did he try to answer any of the contentions in the article—because he can't. I did manage to knock him off the proper noun shelf and reduce him to a pathetic "Aargh".

If the forces of darkness (however you like to define them) can learn from what I've written, so much the better. I believe that was the strategy of Jesus: go where you're most needed. And it makes sense.

So now I wonder: is Ron Paul's alleged "association with racists" fabricated of the same dust-bunnies and wishful thinking as mine? Or do these accusations suppurate from a leftist's characteristically poisonous self-loathing that spreads to everything within his gaze? One certainty we can take from Harvey's blog: more than anything, he hates it when people point out that a "progressive's" first and last resort, confronted by people and ideas he can't handle, is to holler "racist!"

So I suggest that we keep pointing it out, making his stomach churn, costing him a night's sleep, perhaps reducing his life expectancy by another five minutes. A small victory but a victory nonetheless.

Make no mistake: in our struggle against both left wing and right wing socialism, what we have is a property dispute—over who owns your life. Happily, the other side isn't bright or they wouldn't be socialists.

For example, poor Harvey Wallbanger somehow misidentified the conspiracy involved. How very embarrassing. It doesn't have anything at all to do with any Council of Conservative Citizens. He somehow failed to notice that Ron, Eric, Tom, and me—all of us—we're Stonecutters:

Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!*


* With thanks to The Simpsons

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