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L. Neil Smith's
Number 685, August 26, 2012

"One Giant Leap for Mankind"

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Communist Killings

Re: "Gary Me Not On The Lone Prairie" by L. Neil Smith

Dear Editor,

In his recent essay, "Gary Me Not..." L. Neil Smith notes that the Amnesty International organisation estimates 100 million murdered by governments espousing communist ideologies in the 20th Century.

Some years back, I had the opportunity to see a presentation by Anna and Richard Ebeling of the Future of Freedom Foundation to the effect that during the 1917-1991 period of communist rule in the Soviet Union, something on the close order of 74 million were killed by the government there.

Elsewhere, I have read that around 100 million were slaughtered by the Mao regime alone in communist China. Figures vary, but about 1.8 million were killed by the Pol Pot regime.

And, of course, hundreds of thousands have been killed in various countries by CIA sponsored butchery accusing these people of being communists, whether they were, or not. Figures again vary, but the total is well into the millions.

The Twentieth Century was a bad time for people. Getting murdered by collectivists in the name of "unity" seems to have been quite common.


Jim Davidson

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Re: "Drones" by L. Neil Smith

I was rather astonished to read that in one of his latest articles for TLE, the esteemed El Neil advocates making drones illegal, particularly given his usual vehement insistence that spreading weaponry far and wide through the population is one of the best political options there is.

The most libertarian solution to governmental use of drones on civilians isn't to make drones illegal. Instead, it's to ensure that every civilian has the same right to use drones as they do smallarms, for exactly the same reason: to have the military power to effectively resist a tyrannical government, thus forcing that government to exist in fear an armed uprising, and thus placing pressure on that government to avoid upsetting the citizenry should they infringements too many of the citizens' rights.

Figuring out how to make such arrangements for such citizen-run drones, whether those drones are to be used for violence, for surveillance of government activities, to use as mobile nodes of un-tappable mesh-network communications, or just for whatever peaceful recreational purposes any individual happens to think up, is left as an exercise for the reader.

Thank you for your time,


To which L. Neil Smith remarked:

I have never seen anything wrong with passing laws that limit government activity. If I had my way, the three remaining bureaucrats would work from within cages, wearing handcuffs and leg irons, while being gnawed on by fire ants.

Our erstwhile correspondent DataPacRat has surfaced once again to suggest that we counter government drones by having drones of our own. That'a a mighty fine idea if he or she (I have trouble taking people seriously who won't use their real names) is willing to pay for my first dozen. Otherwise, I'll stick with forbidding the government to have or use them.

They're a cowardly weapon, anyway.

L. Neil Smith

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Re: "Constitution-bashing, a strategic error?" by Paul Bonneau

Dear Paul,

Sure... and I quit trying to even discuss the "constitution" a while ago, for much of the same reasons. I've found it far more productive to discuss self ownership and personal responsibility, and let others attempt to fit those into any sort of constitutional government.

Elimination of the power to tax (in every form, including "regulations") would pretty much eliminate the problems, of course, which is why it cannot and will not happen—simply because the government would then shortly cease to exist! Coercion, lies, theft, and redistribution of other people's productivity and property are the only survival mechanisms they have. How else would they get a paycheck and all the neat toys?

And all those "oath" takers are in exactly the same boat. Most of them get a government paycheck, one way or another. Most won't even entertain any ideas that might threaten that setup. All the parts of that system are symbiont and it is highly unlikely that any could be separated out successfully without collapse of the entire collective parasite and the host organism as well.

They all know this very well, of course. The Borg are evil, but not stupid.

The constitution (or any non-voluntary collective) is completely and irrevocably incompatible with individual liberty and self ownership - and always has been. Those who truly understand self ownership will not accept the collective mandate, and those who actually want/benefit from the collective will not be convinced by words of any sort.

So... absolutely, stop bashing the constitution and its believers. Point out the necessity of self ownership to those who at least seem to be interested in individual liberty.

Otherwise, let the dead bury their own dead.

MamaLiberty (a.k.a. Susan Callaway)

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So William MacMahon, one of the" master minds" involved in Operation Fast and Furious has been on paid administrative leave from ATF and working for J.P. Morgan in the Philippines. The obvious goal was to let him build up his pension and let him quit with a guaranteed job out of the government and out of the country.

It's almost worth it to get him out of the government and out of the country. At least he won't be making policy and enforcing law. Of course he'll also get off the hook for deliberately arming criminals (I think the term is "aiding and abetting.") and getting a bunch of people killed. That's why I say almost.

Then again if he is setting an example for the rest of those involved in "Gunwalker" and they follow it it will be worth it to let them double dip. Getting this bunch out of power and out of the government is worth paying money. Putting them in prison would be more satisfying, but watching Eric Holder and his minions flee the country has it's charms. almost as many as watching President Obama get the boot on 6 November.

A.X. Perez

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Re: "The Most Important Election Ever?" by Jonathan David Morris

Dear Johnathan,

You were doing very well until you got here:

"Vote for someone else. Vote for a different party. Write someone in. Do as much as you can to spread the vote thin and let these guys know we no longer think the Democrats and Republicans are the only two options."

The rational option is to become a self owner, self responsible, and opt out of the mutual slavery thing altogether.

Electoral politics and the constitution (or any non-voluntary collective) is completely and irrevocably incompatible with individual liberty and self ownership—and always has been.

Don't "vote" at all.

MamaLiberty (a.k.a. Susan Callaway)
The Price of

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