L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 110, February 26, 2001
Up With Civil Disobedience!
From: "E.J. Totty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In reply to:
>From: "Dan Sanders" <email@example.com>
Been there, seen that, puked.
If there is an answer to the above website, it is that if the SOB who 'feels' that s/he might take my liberties away by voting on them, then a piece of hot lead will resolve the issue.
Only, the next time it won't be a 'civil war'. It'll be a frigg'n fry yer arse party.
And, the only assholes will be the ones wondering why they were fighting for tyranny. You can bet your arse hole on that, sonny!
You might win, but you'll be licking those wounds fer the rest of whatever it is you call a 'life', and your kids'll be talking behind yer back about 'revolution'. Heh heh! Yup!
Gotta wonder tho, who taught Danny to count . . .
Musta been those 'collectives'.
From: "James Gholston" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Jacob G. Hornberger" <email@example.com>
<<I do have two general observations, however. I believe that Press Secretary Babka is incorrect in suggesting that Browne's second electoral debacle (.4 percent in 2000, down from .5 percent in 1996) is due to my exposing and opposing his ethical wrongdoing.>>
The smaller the number, the easier it is to perturb. While not a primary cause of the disappointing result, it certainly could not have helped to insulate our presidential totals from the primary reasons.
<<(I also reject the close-vote theory and the mass-media conspiracy theory.) The responsibility for repeated failure, in my opinion, lies squarely with the paradigm of unethical conduct in which Browne and his coterie of supporters, including those in the national LP hierarchy, have been operating within the LP. I have said this before, but it bears repeating: The American people will never— repeat never—embrace a third party whose candidates and officials are deliberately engaged in unethical behavior.>>
As the party making the accusations, the burden of proof rests with you. Out of curiosity, do you believe that the closeness of the race results from high approval with the public of both GW Bush and Albert Gore, and a strong disapproval of all other presidential candidates? All third party presidential candidates' numbers took a nosedive at the very end, so if the cause is not common there must be parallel causes affecting everyone else who exhibits a similar problem, which is pretty well everyone but Gore and Bush. What, if I may ask, were these similarly devastating but unconnected problems with Nader, et al. that caused their support to dwindle in the eleventh hour?
<<My second observation is simply to note an interesting phenomenon. Every time I post new questions about the mysterious entity known as "Optopia" on my website [www.jacobghornberger.com], the level of nervous attacks on me increases proportionately. What gives?>>
Don't confuse nervousness with exasperation. I see that you have no counterargument whatsoever for the statement regarding the bona fides of Optopia, merely an insulting snub of the person writing the response ("... everything he says is based on what Perry Willis and Harry Browne have said to him").
- - -
From: Susan Wells <Swftl@aol.com>
<<Maybe Mr. Browne and some other people with the LNC ought to sue Mr. Hornberger for slander. Or is it libel since it's in print?>>
Both, if I correctly understand. The arguments I've heard from the Browne camp are that they don't want to rock the boat with such unpleasantness, but I can only see one reason that is really valid for not dragging Hornberger into court and putting an end to this once and for all: the FEC is a much bigger problem than Hornberger will ever be, and thus dragging the FEC into court is a much bigger priority. Hornberger is an increasingly irritating nuisance whose main target isn't going to be running for anything again. The FEC is an increasingly powerful structural obstacle that cripples our ability to win offices across the board and entrenches the position of the enemies of liberty and responsibility.
As someone directly responsible for trying to get candidates elected, I can easily see this possibly unstated reason (preparing for trial by combat with Richard III's champion) alone as sufficient cause for not swatting an annoying horsefly. A victory against the FEC would make my job immeasurably easier. Getting Hornberger to shut up is utterly trivial and petty by comparison.
From: "Alobar Greywalker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
----- Original Message -----
Sexist trash! Ad hominim attack. Not germane to the argument at hand. Sheesh! Get a time machine & send this guy back to the 1950s where he will be more happy.
<< The same fellow wishes to impose a new political correctness on libertarians, and decrees that they should all be pro-Lincoln. I see ... we should whoop it up for the benefactor who brought income taxation, conscription, and the midnight knock on the door to America. We should celebrate the statesman who imprisoned 15,000 northerners who publicly disagreed with him, and sent troops to smash the presses of newspapers that did the same.>>
What prison were they kept in? You had previously said that there were 15,000 "disappeared." Could their friends and relations not visit them or write to them? What percentage of the population did they represent? Were they all from one sub-region within the North or were they scattered throughout the North? Why did the non-imprisoned Northerners tolerate such a state of affairs? Were there no calls for impeachment from the North?
From: "Thomas L Knapp" <email@example.com>
I've followed the ethics accusations against Harry Browne and his campaign organization since 1996, including Jacob Hornberger's published thoughts on the controversy. Without endorsing each of the accusations or responses in detail, I'll establish my prejudices up front for the benefit of this publication's readers, so that they may factor that into their evaluation of this missive: I believe that there is substance to at least some of the accusations that have been made.
Nonetheless, my purpose here is not to prove that. I wish to take issue with Mr. Hornberger on one of the many claims he makes; I don't believe that in so doing, I am damaging the core of his case.
Mr. Hornberger wrote:
<<I believe that Press Secretary Babka is incorrect in suggesting that Browne's second electoral debacle (.4 percent in 2000, down from .5 percent in 1996) is due to my exposing and opposing his ethical wrongdoing. (I also reject the close-vote theory and the mass-media conspiracy theory.) The responsibility for repeated failure, in my opinion, lies squarely with the paradigm of unethical conduct in which Browne and his coterie of supporters, including those in the national LP hierarchy, have been operating within the LP. I have said this before, but it bears repeating: The American people will never— repeat never—embrace a third party whose candidates and officials are deliberately engaged in unethical behavior. This is why I am doing my best to persuade LP members to adopt a new paradigm of ethics at the 2002 LP national convention, with the goal of making the Libertarian Party not just "the party of principle" but "the party of integrity and principle.">>
I do not believe, nor have I seen any data to support, the contention that the internal ethics debate now raging in the Libertarian Party has significantly affected voter acceptance of the Party and its candidates.
It is reasonable to assume that the actions of the Browne campaign had an effect, but most of that effect can be seen in terms of the fact that resources can't be in two places at once: when a campaign spends 0.6 percent of its budget on advertising and more than a third of it on "consultants," as the Browne campaign did in 1996 (Source: "Libertarian Party Agonistes," by R.W. Bradford, Liberty magazine, September 2000, p.32), it is only natural that that campaign will have a low public profile. Similar practices seem to have been followed in the 2000 campaign.
I consider it highly unlikely that the American public felt a great desire to vote for the Libertarian Party, but dug into FEC reports, Libertarian publications and Mr. Hornberger's indictments, then threw up its collective hands and said "but not as long as this is going on!"
During the course of the election coverage, I saw no mention in the non-libertarian media of the internal debate over the ethics or practices of the Browne campaign. One non-libertarian web site ("Skeleton Closet"), which is dedicated to cataloging such matters for all candidates, did so for Browne (along with Bush, Gore, McCain, Nader, et al).
For that matter, I saw scant mention in the non-libertarian media of the Libertarian Party or our presidential campaign, period—which leads me back into an area of agreement with Mr. Hornberger.
I don't buy the "mass media conspiracy" argument, either. While ethics problems in our party and movement certainly need to be addressed, and I'm glad to see that that's happening (thank you, Mr. Hornberger! Thank you, Rick Tompkins, L. Neil Smith, Vin Suprynowicz, John Famularo and others!), we've got another problem that seems just as intractable: we're not being noticed. And I think that Mr. Hornberger, in his bid for the presidential nomination, hit on the solution.
At the presidential campaign level, we have always played by the rules of the major parties circa the late 20th century. We've had fundraising receptions, produced "mainstream-looking" commercials and infomercials, and tried to shoehorn our message into a form that appeals to the accepted voter blocs.
Hornberger's suggested campaign style is something different. He proposes to run a campaign that doesn't attempt to hide our principles, that takes them to the streets and puts them in front of people. That's a harder kind of campaign to run, but it's the kind that is necessary.
The Democrats and Republicans have the advantage of more than a century's head start on us. They already have precinct organizations, get-out-the-vote procedures, and volunteers to get the jobs done. Duopoly presidential candidates don't do real whistle-stop or bus tours anymore because they don't have to. They've got a volunteer on every block to take their message into people's homes.
We don't. That's why we need candidates—even, maybe especially, on the presidential level—who are willing to burn shoe leather, march in parades, caravan from city to city, and speak in union halls, public parks, and in front of every group that will stand still long enough to be talked with.
In a time when the electorate was much smaller, Eugene Debs polled over a million votes—more than ANY Libertarian presidential candidate has managed from a much larger pool—using these tactics. The similarities are more revealing than the differences. Yes, Debs was a Socialist whose ideas were and are antithetical to ours. However, he was (as we are now) addressing issues that burned in the public mind, and he was doing it in person, on the ground, to the people, and with fire.
Libertarian presidential candidates will continue to garner few votes as long as they continue to rely on talk radio and to expect equal time from the mainstream media without doing something to merit that time. Duopoly candidates are news; third party candidates have to make news—not with their positions, but with their actions.
Yours in liberty,
From: "Stephen Carville" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Are you daft?
Microsoft is no friend of freedom. For a list of who Microsoft gives its support (i.e. money) to got to:
Not exactly a who's who of freedom lovers. Note the contributions given to such notorious anti-gun nuts as Diane Feinstein. Joseph Lieberman, Jay Inslee, and Edward Kennedy.
It can be argued that Microsoft is making these contributions because they are in the best interests of the Corporation independent of other political considerations. It is true some of the politicians listed have expressed opposition to the anti-trust suit. OTOH, some have not. The only common threads I see there are anti-gun and pro drug-war. Not exactly friends of the Bill of Rights.
From: "Michael Kerner" <email@example.com>
THE LESSONS OF THE HOLOCAUST
When you discuss the Holocaust with people, they usually have two questions. The first is how the average German citizen stood by and let it happen and secondly they ask why the victims did not fight back. Why did they apparently go to their torture and deaths peacefully?
The second question is very easy to answer. Hitler first instituted a policy of gun registration and then gun control. He did this before he tipped his hand on his plans for genocide. This is standard operating procedure in the genocide business and happened repeatedly throughout the bloody twentieth century. There is simply no contest between a soldier armed with a modern weapon and a civilian with a kitchen knife or a rock, and evil people like Hitler and Stalin understand this quite well.
The first question is more complicated. Hitler and his Nazis went through a slow process of demonization of the Jews. Through patient and repetitive public statements and actions, Jews were portrayed as evil. All sorts of beliefs were spread around the population. They could be false, even outrageous, but after enough repetition, they eventually took hold. (Examples: Jews killed Christ; Jews sacrifice Christian babies in their religious ceremonies; all Jews are communists.) At a certain point, it became politically incorrect to disagree with the common belief. The result is that you either believed the nonsense or you kept quiet about your doubts. You could be called a Jew lover and end up as the next demonized group.
Now we in America are much too civilized for that ever to happen here, right? We don't need to keep our guns to defend ourselves against a future Holocaust. It could never happen. It would be impossible to spread false beliefs that demonize whole groups to the extent that the public would stand still for mass murder or mass incarceration in some modern version of a concentration camp. We are much too informed and educated for that to be possible. We have a constitution that would prevent that. NOT!!
LOOK AROUND YOU RIGHT NOW!! We are in various stages of demonizing several groups including:
Obviously these demonization programs are not all at the same level of progress. Drug users are the only ones being rounded up and incarcerated in large numbers, and very large numbers it is. Well over 400,000 people reside in prisons for so called crimes of drug use, possession or sale with no real crime committed. They are not being killed in large numbers yet, but the death penalty does apply in certain circumstances and has been suggested by our drug-warrior politicians for still more. Some get killed during the very dangerous no-knock searches that, we are told, are necessary to enforce these laws. It is also OK to steal their property under "civil forfeiture", another tool invented for the drug war without regard to the due process clause of the constitution.
Can you conceive of these numbers. Four Hundred thousand people's lives ruined. Four Hundred thousand potentially productive individuals made useless and turned into a burden on the taxpayers for doing nothing that was anyone else's business. Four hundred thousand families made fatherless or motherless. Tens of thousands of police officers wasting their time arresting harmless people and empowering the worst people to make a fortune supplying them, when they could be spending their time on real crime. They even arrest sick people who desperately need marijuana as a medicine. They simply insist that it does not have medical uses in the face of overwhelming evidence that it does.
I am sure that as you read these words, a good number of you think that I am some sort of nut, or at least a drug user myself. How could anyone defend drug users? These are just the sort of feelings that ordinary German citizens had toward Jews and anyone that defended them in the 1930s, and with just as little justification.
The war on guns, besides making life much safer for the real criminals, has also imprisoned thousands of harmless people for minor or imaginary paperwork violations. It has caused more than one mass murder by law enforcement. The most famous at Waco under the claim of one of those paperwork violations. These violations are not, and cannot be, crimes under our constitution. Nevertheless 82 innocent people died at Waco and the killers got medals. Innocent survivors are still in prison.
Gun control makes us susceptible to a new Holocaust and also makes crime worse. This fact is so well documented as to be indisputable, nevertheless our leaders have managed to instill the falsehood that we need to control guns to prevent crime. Those people that want to own guns are evil and/or nuts in some way. This is a direct parallel to denying that Marijuana has medical uses. Outright lies still work very well, no matter how well informed we think we are.
Again, I would bet that a large number of people reading this again think that I am a nut of some sort. This time a right wing wacko gun nut. This belief may have been instilled into your thinking by falsehoods and illogical reasoning, but it is there and affecting your voting and poll answers. Soon the general public will be standing still for a nationwide house to house search for guns.
Afterwards, when the publicly held guns are mostly gone, what will restrain the government from any activity they want?
My conclusion is that we have learned NOTHING from the Holocaust. We are following the same path to hell, just a little slower because two of our major constitutional protections are still somewhat in place, however shakily—Trial by Jury and the Right to keep and bear arms. When we lose either or both of those, it is GAME OVER. Then you will discover that all those laws that were passed to stop those evil drug dealers and gun owners will be used to destroy anyone who is not fully cooperative with Big Brother.
Freedom is the one thing that you cannot have unless you allow others to have it as well.
From: "Harry Browne" <HarryBrowne@Home.com>
Congratulations on an excellent article in TLE.
You may a good point, and did it with humor and good cheer.
If your article could have wide enough circulation, perhaps we'd never again have to hear that inane story about boiling a frog slowly.
With best wishes,
From: "Dennis Kabaczy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In James Odle's letter in TLE # 109 concerning the Second Amendment, he asks, "Doesn't anybody in this country remember their basic high school history?"
Considering what has been done in government schools in the past 30 years, yes we do remember our high school history. We remember being taught that the second amendment allowed the states to arm a militia. We weren't taught about the Federalist or Anti-Federalist papers. We weren't taught about Madison's letters. We were taught what our propagandists in the government indoctrination camps thought appropriate at the time, and only by the grace of G-d (whoever or whatever you consider he, she, or it to be) hard work and exposure to free thought, have some of us learned "we wuz robbed!"
As long as government holds the monopoly on education, most of our children will not be educated about all that happened during and after the revolution. It would interfere with them learning how to be snitches from DARE, or learning that "guns are bad". The sad part is how many of us, either through economics or other problems, cannot home or private school our children. Though not giving up, I hold little hope for us as long as government does the teaching.
From: "Michael Curry" <email@example.com>
I've been pondering how to 'unravel' the encroachments upon all our liberties, given the fact that the deck (as well as 'popular' opinion) is stacked against us. I've often thought we should use some of the same tactics used by other 'civil rights' activists in the past, as long as they are in line with the principles of libertarianism.
Since many people respond to perceived threats to their pocketbook, or to expanded opportunities, why not use the market to help educate and guide those who are likely to favor liberty if exposed to it?
I understand that the civil rights leaders of the 60's did something similar in order to make people aware of the purchasing power of those who were oppressed. By showing businesses that they had something to lose by continuing to discriminate based on race, they used 'enlightened self interest' to help their cause. (Of course, I may have the facts wrong, having been 'educated' on this subject by the tube and public schools. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, but keep in mind that this is a side issue...)
I'd guess that there are many libertarian-minded people who own their own businesses.
What I propose is that libertarian-run businesses identify themselves by using some kind of distinctive logo that can be used on websites, store entrances, etc. Each business wishing to use the logo should be required to agree to simple rules regarding its use, and to adhere to libertarian principles in their business dealings and interactions with the public. For instance, a logo licensee should not announce a 'no guns allowed' policy in a walk-in store or restaraunt in a state having liberal concealed carry laws, as this would be fairly and obviously hypocritical.
The logo should be copyrighted and use should be licensed, in order to guaranteed that it means something, kind of like the "Underwriters Laboratories" logo. Beyond that simple license, the logo should be freely available for use. Perhaps preprinted logo stickers for doors, windows, etc. could be sold by the organization.
The idea here is to raise the politicians, and the general public's awareness of the economic power of liberty-minded and libertarian business owners. I think that this could have a significant effect, if enough businesses identify themselves in this manner.
So, should we have a design contest to come up with some ideas for the logo? ;)
And, does anyone have any suggestions on how to form such an organization, and ensure that it doesn't become bureaucratic and end up scaring away both businesses and customers?
From: "TG" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I read your note in a recent TLE. Here's a temporary fix, if you have WordPerfect—copy and paste the entire TLE text into a WP doc. Then hit "Alt + E" for Edit, "V" for "Convert Case," and "I" for "Initial Capitals."
No doubt Word, AmiPro, and other word processors have similar functions, if you look for them.
From: "JACK JEROME" <email@example.com>
Hi J. C. and fellow believers in liberty, and welcome to another episode of The Supreme Court Churns. The latest issue before this august body of spineless jellyfish is a case involving search and seizure. Not the usual kick-down-the-door 1-Adam 12 crap you see on COPS, but something cool, and scary.
A local Marihuana addict was minding his own business and growing his own stash inside his house, and the local cops were interested in seeing him arrested. Being unable to enter his residence by any legal method, they utilised an infrared scanner to pick up the heat signature of his greenhouse (powered by grow lights and legally available power). Based upon the radiated heat of the area of the house, their experts determined that this would be the ideal place for growing good ol' Cannabis Sativa. Whereupon they then kicked in his door and arrested him. Pretty good detective work, but legal issues abound here.
Were his rights to privacy violated, as the defendant professes? Was this illegal search and seizure, as information about the greenhouse was gleaned THROUGH the walls of his house? How far does your privacy extend beyond your property line? Do infrared signatures fall within the same laws that govern public airwaves?
It sure sucks to be a Supreme Court Justice these days, you have to actually make real important decisions! My opinion (which doesn't count for much) is that this may be one of the more important decisions this Court may have to render to date. The answer may limit (or expand) police power to spy and otherwise eavesdrop on free people in the USA.
Many formerly black-ops methods of surveillance are being made available to Law Enforcement, and more quickly than ever before. Here are a few other examples:
With no internal bugging, keystrokes on computers can be read through on sensitive electromagnetic pickups. I wonder what that damn Libertarian Jack is typing now? No warrant required, if SCOTUS rules in favour of this case. Freedom of the airwaves will allow for reception of signals of this kind.
By using microwave LASER reflected off of windowpanes, noises inside of houses can be heard clearly with the use of a receiver-decoder. The windowpane acts as a tympanic membrane, resonating every sound, said LASER beam dopplers as it is reflected back, emulating the movement of the window. The Pentagon pipes white noise and Muzak through their outward facing windows to countermeasure this, unlike the rest of us saps who are vulnerable to this type of eavesdropping.
Use of "smart tags" to not only allow you easy monthly billing and quick access to toll-ways, but easily acquired records for tracking when you use such roads and bridges. Expect chips to arrive in your license plates one day soon.
Finally, my fave of faves, those damn cameras placed along Interstate highways and at intersections. I still hate those most of all.
In closing, there may be less privacy to go around real soon. The government knows far too much about all of us already, don'tcha think?
P.S., a quick thanks to Mr. Blake, for the hint on the sunglasses. I wondered why I unconsciously wear them all the time. ...
Peace out, Jack
From: "Bill Butson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
TO: Libertarian Enterprise
When I was in grade school my teachers told my parents that "Billy doesn't play with the other children."
I knew that. When my parents asked why I didn't get involved with the other kids I replied "Because they want to do things I don't want to do, like smoking, stealing candy, throwing rocks thru windows", and such. I had nothing in common with those kids so I stayed by myself, perfectly contented. I just wanted to be left alone to amuse myself. Even as a child I believed that "those kids" would grow up to be bad adults, I was right.
Unfortunately those "bad kids" now have positions of power and influence like Ex-president Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton (Now I know why I never wanted to live in New York.), numerous senators and congressmen and a raft of bureaucrats on the federal, state and local level. The "bad kids" have taken over. You want proof?
Yes the "bad kids" have positions now that are destroying this country. If you don't believe it just wait, do nothing, and sit back for a few more years as the system deteriorates. If you believe that everything is just fine and have no concern about these issues, then I'm willing to bet that you smoked on the playground and used to steal candy.
So what's a "good kid" supposed to do?
I suggest civil disobedience in every way! Here's a few examples. Tell the bureaucrat that "taxation is theft" as you reluctantly pay property taxes. Then when they say "I'm just doing my job!" remind them that excuse didn't work for the Nazi's after WW2. That statement got me removed from the county office building AFTER they took my check. Let city/county/state workers know that a "guvmint job" is welfare. Go to the post office at tax time and fill your vehicle with tax forms (You "may" need spares.) Boycott the Mexican restaurants if uncontrolled Mexican immigration is a problem in your community, it is here.
Arm yourself and learn how to use them. This "system" can't go on forever.
Bill Butson—Still a good kid!