Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment
By Jim Davidson
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
Freedom requires eternal vigilance. Robert Heinlein described that vigilance, "The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle, anywhere, at any time, and with utter recklessness." If you aren't ready to do sudden battle, you are only as free as the next guy wants to let you to be.
Of course, there are things short of battle which you can do to encourage the next guy to be more freedom-oriented. One of these is obviously to continue reading The Libertarian Enterprise. Another is to continue thinking about freedom.
But thinking isn't enough, especially where action is called for. "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of great pitch and moment, with this regard, their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action," as Shakespeare's Hamlet says.
Lately, more and more of my enterprises have been directed towards freedom. In November 1997, I started a new company, Interglobal Paratronics, Inc. The name derives from the fact that "international" seemed too limiting. The term Paratronics comes from a favorite book, The Probability Broach and is used with the enthusiasm of L. Neil Smith.
Among the work we do, we've started a speakers' bureau which we call "Free Speech." The Free Speech speakers bureau finds speaking engagements for liberty-minded speakers. More details are available on our web site at http://www.ezez.com/free/freetalk.html which lists a few of our speakers. Some of these folks speak at no charge, while others charge a substantial fee.
If you're interested in our help in booking speaking engagements, please check out the site and get in touch by email. We're very interested in finding lots of speaking gigs for folks who are willing to stand on a soapbox and say, "Freedom is important." Among the things that are in it for you, we put together a web page on each speaker in our bureau.
More significantly, if you have an event or a show, and want to showcase some topics related to freedom, please get in touch. We want to find speakers for you. We're especially interested in radio and television talk shows, but anywhere an audience gathers we'd like to have a Free Speech speaker.
What if speaking isn't your thing? Another enterprise I've gotten involved with is the Liberty Round Table, which Don Tiggre announced in these pages not that long ago. The Liberty Round Table list is chock full of ideas for actions to take. One of these ongoing projects was developed by a friend of mine, who prefers to remain anonymous. This project involves sending "reefers" made of oregano or other legal substances to the US Attorney General, Jackboot Janet. The intention is to protest her opposition to the recent balloting in California and Arizona which resulted in decriminalization of medical prescriptions for marijuana. It seems like a great way to "make a point with a joint." Probably the best way to get in touch with the Liberty Round Table is to visit their web site at http://home.utah-inter.net/don-tiggre/lrthp.htm for more information.
In October 1996, I became active in Libertarian politics here in Houston, Texas. In January 1997 I was appointed coordinator of the speakers' bureau of the Harris County Libertarian Party, which prompted the formation of Free Speech. On 8 February 1997 I'm hosting a meeting at my home of a "Southwest Houston Libertarian Political Club" along the lines outlined in Heinlein's book Take Back Your Government!.
I've also been working on the Interglobal Paratronics web site, quite a lot. One of the aspects of that site is a system of links to freedom-oriented web sites, including the one that hosts The Libertarian Enterprise. Those links can be found at http://www.ezez.com/sites.html#free and we're always looking for more. If you'd like your site to be listed, please send email.
One of the projects that came up out of my involvement with the Liberty Round Table was the development of a short animated .gif highlighting the problems of US policy toward the People's Republic of China. That animation can be seen (with Netscape 2.0 or higher) at http://www.ezez.com/free/liberty.html.
Another project which I've been working since 19 December 1996 relates to the bizarre events surrounding FBI Operation Lightning Strike. More details on that project can be seen at http://www.houstonspacesociety.org/OLS.html which details a few of the problems with the investigation. One positive note is that one of those targeted, Dale Brown, stood by his guns, pled not guilty, wasn't convicted, and is now suing the Federal Government.
Altogether, since November 1996, about 20 hours of my time every week, on average, has been devoted to enterprises related to freedom. If that seems low, you should be commended on doing much more. If that seems high, consider what you're doing that is more important. Earning money and raising a family are clearly higher priorities. But remember, if you want to be free to spend that money, and keep that family from harm, freedom issues need some of your time, too.
There are plenty of things to do. For the political, there are campaigns to support. Someone needs to run on the Libertarian Party ticket for president in 2000, and you need to do something about getting that person elected. For the financial, there are lots of projects that need more money.
If you can't think of any projects to get involved with, consider one of the links above. And remember: it's your freedom. If you don't defend it, who will? If not now, then when?
Jim Davidson has always been a liberty minded individualist, but got very serious about it after the state shut down his space tourism company, Space Travel Services, in 1991. Jim has a bachelor's in history from Columbia (1985), an MBA in marketing from Rice (1987), has worked in aerospace, software, banking, real estate, and is currently Chief Operating Officer of a $3 million revenues medical company. Among his other interests, Jim has been president of the Houston Space Society and scubas whenever he can.
A Juror's Creed: As an American juror, I will exercise my 1000 year old duty to arrive at a verdict, not just on the basis of the facts of a particular case or instructions I am given, but through my ability to reason, my knowledge of the Bill of Rights, and my individual conscience.
-- L. Neil Smith
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