Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 700, December 9, 2012

"So here's a call to arms—or at least to
keyboards—for all of those I hear wondering
what they can do to advance the cause of liberty."w3

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next


by L. Neil Smith

Bookmark and Share

Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I've been thinking about current events all week, especially our low, miserable betrayal by country club Republicans, and I've come to a conclusion that many readers may feel disturbed by or chagrined about, as it pleases them. It first arose during an argument online about the brief document I've written and appended to most of my e-mail for quite a long while, now. Intended to correct the Founding Fathers' gravest omission, it is a penalty clause for the Bill of Rights.

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.

Among the individuals I was arguing with, I finally realized, was one of those people I have labeled "tar-babies". (You'll have to look up Joel Chandler Harris, who, I warn you, is presently among the Top 40 of the Politically Incorrect.) Basically, what this cybergink was demanding was that everybody there dive with him into the dark, murky depths of that most shameful and embarrassing of all libertarian vices, "analysis paralysis". I'm sure that you're acquainted with the type, noisily insisting on being told what hidden agenda was being concealed through my sinister use of the word "the", three times. Yet, as you can see for yourself, my Bill of Rights penalty clause is as clear and concise as any of the first ten amendments, and I stand by it.

There are, of course, always those who attempt to hyper-legalize and complicate simple things for their own purposes. Usually, it's just a geeky, nerdy attention-getting device, sniveling and pathetic, but innocent. However it pays to keep your guard up. Take a good, hard look at the willful misinterpretation of the Second Amendment by the would-be slave-holders in the U.S. government—and the genocidal U.N.—who know perfectly well what it means, but hate, loathe, and despise the idea of their potential victims being able to defend themselves.

It just messes up all their plans, darn it.

For what it's worth, it's reasonably clear that the Supreme Court was never intended to interpret the Constitution for the rest of us. It usurped that power for itself way back in 1794. With a notorious exception or two ("Your people, sir," said Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Jefferson, in 1792, "is a great beast!"), the Founding Fathers—generally convinced that individuals can rule themselves better than they can be ruled by others—intended for all Constitutional questions to be resolved by juries. One of my principle goals in life is that the Court be put back in its place and the "English" jury re-elevated to as close to supreme authority as you can have in a free country. Lawyers and judges need to be set down half a dozen pegs, as well.

What's depressing is that the major criticism of my little clause used to be that it doesn't include a death penalty. My purpose, for the sake of popularizing Bill of Rights enforcement, was to try and gather a consensus—this is always a mistake. Personally, I have always been partial to public hanging, with no tidy little bags over the head, preferably broadcast on network television. Above all, it should be a family viewing experience. But in the 20 years since I wrote that clause, I don't hear that criticism much any more. To me, it is a measure of how much American blood has thinned in the past two decades.

We (and I use the pronoun loosely) have been cowed, ladies and gentlemen. We have been cowed. We have been branded, herded from one government-selected pasture to another, and compelled to pull the sledges of our unspeakable masters as we go. We have been milked and slaughtered, our teeth mined for whatever gold they may contain, our feet boiled down to make glue. Drained of our life's blood, we have been skinned to make fashionable togs for the parasitic wives and mistresses of the nomenklatura, while we and everyone we love have been cut into steaks and chops to feed them and their inbred repulsive spawn.


And all largely because the Founding Fathers, by accident or by deliberation, neglected (sometimes, reading those ten amendments, I believe I can hear the ghost of Alexander Hamilton snickering behind the curtains) to supply the Bill of Rights with a proper penalty clause.

So here's a call to arms—or at least to keyboards—for all pf those I hear wondering what they can do to advance the cause of liberty. Build a website, create a FaceBook page, promoting the idea of amending the Constitution with a Bill of Rights penalty clause. I have my own work to do, but I will be the first to sign up or "Like" it.

Go ahead and write in that provision for capital punishment, if you've got the moxie, but never euphemize or soft-pedal it. Hanging, which is spectacular and can be accomplished outdoors. is the way to go. I suggest that it only be applied when someone has died—even one of their own—in the effort to deprive people of their rights. Otherwise, they'll come off as martyrs and acquire groupies. And it's absolutely essential that it only be done following due process of law.

Tell 'em it's another good reason to decriminalize Cannabis: nothing delivers quite the same neck-snapping bounce as good hemp rope.

Most of all, don't allow yourself to be dissuaded by nitpickers, naysayers, and general purpose killjoys who insist that such an amendment will never pass. What they don't realize—and still won't, even once you've explained it to them in short sentences consisting entirely of one-syllable words—is that passage is not really the point. The idea, while you campaign as if it were going to be ratified later this afternoon, is simply to break the ice, to introduce the concept.

Ironically, once the public climate is right to pass it—when the other side are sufficiently cowed for a change—we won't need to.

But of course we should, anyway.

L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis:
[ dead tree]
[ Kindle]
[ dead tree and Nook]
DOWN WITH POWER was selected as the Freedom Book Club Book-of-the-Month for August 2012

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type


Big Head Press