L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 117, April 16, 2001
"Declare The Pennies On Your Eyes"
From: "Angel Shamaya" <Director@KeepAndBearArms.com>
Few seem to be aware that American federal congresscritters have been quietly pushing a $145/day tax-free raise. How many would complain were it to pass and become "law"?
Today we have among us but a few who will even bother to call their legistraitors to tell them not to do what the constitution already tells them not to do, and fewer still who'd resist even an assault against their home or person when a "law" is forced down their throats.
I am embarrassed for my countrymen; their cowardice and inaction is vile, indeed. Boot-licking whimps rule this country from under the thumb of the most depraved human beings on this planet.
While some people may truly believe that America will never have another civil war, those people are mere ostriches; their wishful thinking is simple immaturity and ignorance. The fruit of their ignorance is their refusal to face one fact:
The only rights you will keep are those that will be defended at all costs by enough people to make our public servants back down.
Nothing less will stop what is happening to your country, and that includes your prayers. If you are waiting for God to save you, you are a bigger fool than all of the Godless men combined. The meek will inherit the Earth when they stop being pussies and take back what is theirs by birthright.
Unless by some miraculous resurgence in the spirit of resistance Itself, the black flag will be raised in our lifetime.
People who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it. Ostriches are first in line for the lessons they missed.
I fear no man or government. Nothing short of killing me can be done to stop my living seething for all that is laothsome in our banana republic and her misguided "leaders." In the words of Brian Wilson, "I will fight 'til Hell freezes over; then I will fight on the ice."
Shout down your public servants. Make them obey their Constitutional Commands.
Or bury your head until they come to chop it off.
From: "Ward Griffiths" <email@example.com>
As an "ideological libertarian" (otherwise known as an anarchist), I've never insisted that anybody live by my ideological rules. Ghod nose that I've never insisted (or recommended) that somebody else be an altruist. There are no "Thou Shalts" in my book. There is just one "Thou Shalt Not", and obeying it is in one's best interest -- to not initiate force or delegate the initiation of force. Failure to abide by that simple rule is a matter between you and Darwin. Outside of that, you can do whatever you please. So can I and everyone else. If you want to get to get together with folks of like mind and form little socialist enclaves, go ahead -- but don't attempt to use force to bring converts in or keep them from leaving. Since while initiation of force is the one "Thou Shalt Not", retaliation to force is, while not a mandatory "Thou Shalt", strongly encouraged.
Ward Griffiths <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Ralph S. Hoefelmeyer" <email@example.com>
When Alexei Kurupatin gave the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC address, he neglected to supply the zip code, which is 20500.
Always provide the details, it befuddles the ignorant.
Ralph S. Hoefelmeyer
From: "Steve Trinward" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joel, I'm a published writer myself (articles mostly), as well as a songwriter (nothing published yet except the one MP3 file of "Living Liberty" (see below if you haven't heard it), but several things very near to release), so I feel quite able to respond to your challenge to Neil's Napster piece. A goodly part of my future income (I sincerely affirm) will come from my songs, so I could presumably get slammed if a freebie file-exchange like Napster takes a foothold.
But I'm not concerned about it, because I know, for just one example, the value that MP3 files right now are having in promoting independent artists and writers via the net, and how much publicity this whole thing is generating for the less-well known among the songwriting and performing community.
Also, I know that the advances in technology that make Napster (or any of a dozen or more other alternative methods of similar type) viable are part of a paradigm shift which will affect the whole system of distribution of creative work. I foresee a time when the creator of an audio, video or other-sense related work of art will be able to attract patrons, fans or customers directly, without going through a series of managerial and hierarchical levels which suck nearly 95% of any revenue-stream out before it gets to the creator.
Notice, please, that the people screaming the loudest about "copyright infringement" are: (a) the big record labels (which suck a HUGE piece of the pie right off the plate before any division is considered; ( b) the RIAA (in effect, the 'union' for these megabusinesses); and (c) a FEW big-name artists like Metallica (who should know the hell better, and who have made a fortune, or should have by now, with their barely controlled noise masquerading as music (and yes, I've read the lyrics and yes, they are pro-freedom, but NO I can't understand a f***ing word most of the time when I hear them play the songs... there's MY bias showing!)
You might want to check out Courtney Love, who has a whole nother perspective, on Napster and on the entire recording industry, which is more like a chattel-slavery system than anything else: http://www.theredceiling.com
Also consider this: for several years now, independent singer/songwriters, have been using collaborative websites to present and sell their music, using a web page to present sound clips of their songs, and then offering the full CDs on a page-link. The late-lamented songs.com managed to stay alive and grow, as a marketing umbrella for indy artists, for about five years. Then, about a year ago they sold out to Gaylord Digital ... only to be smacked down and closed last November by the local corporate giant ... when they couldn't spend it into the stratosphere.
This method of offering free, excerpted versions of songs, has built for some of these folks followings which are nearly enough to support them as full-time performing songwriters. In some cases, it has led to other performers (especially those who DON'T write) covering the tunes, and expanding the revenue streams for the original artists. Many singer-songwriters have released full-length recordings of new songs in MP3 format, before they go onto an album, to test the market and see which ones draw an audience.
For some of these folks, their hard work so far MAY be getting lifted without compensation TODAY, but in the process they may be creating a whole new audience for their work. My attitude as a creative person is this: If someone comes along and 'steals' one of my better songs, and several hundred (or thousand) people want copies, that's GOOD newsm, whether or NOT I get even one cent for the copying! It means I'm writing something worth hearing and worth stealing. It encourages me to keep writing, because I know there is probably an even better song inside me waiting to come out. And this time, with an already ready-made audience for the work, I'm far more likely to be able to get at least some of them to pay me for the privilege...
In sum, I agree with Neil that this is merely another shift in the way things get done. In short order (already happening in some circles) artists wishing a direct return on their work will embrace the 'branding' technology already in progress, and those who understand the value of marketing and 'giveaways' will use these "freebie" channels to generate interest and market-share. (Any idea how many CDs are FREELY handed out at promotional events, or given to radio stations (then ending up on Ebay), or otherwise 'comped'? That's how the big labels operate, as if they were vending wingnuts, instead of creative art...)
From: "Brian Smith" <email@example.com>
I just read Mark and Tina Terrys' letter in the April 9, 2001 issue of TLE. I was astonished to find that I had been quoted! I was the one that posted the notice on shooters.com about the poll that they referred to. By the way, the second to the last sentence should read, "I wonder how long it will be before they take the poll down." In my haste to post this interesting news, I left a word out of it. I had no idea that my mistake would be distributed so widely!
I really enjoy reading TLE every week, and I recommend it every chance I get. I would also like to thank L. Neil Smith for writing The Probability Broach. This book is what got me interested in libertarianism in the first place, and it is the reason that I recently bought my first gun. I went target shooting for the first time yesterday, and I had a great time!
Keep up the Good Work,
From: "Steve Trinward" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[A message sent to Steve by the undersigned; original author did clear for publication; reprinted here verbatim, as received -- ed.]
In refutation of Susan's "Can civilians arrest people?", I cite as my prime example, the bail bondsman. (Being one with over 35 arrests under my belt, I feel I am qualified somewhat to speak on this). A Bail Bondsman has greater powers to arrest than any law enforcement agency Over His Own Defendants, due to Contract Law...which means that in exchange for being allowed out of jail, the Defendant delegates his rights as a free person over to the Bondsman, so an arrest by a bondsman cannot be force initiated against someone who has AGREED IN ADVANCE to the terms and conditions of the contract (Just the Libertarian POV on what I do, because technically in doing my job I do have to use force, or more often, the implied threat of force).
Bondsmen are not law enforcement officers. They are civilians who are bound under the same "unpriveliged" law body that the rest of the populace are. We don't need warrants, as our signed bond IS our right (not a warrant, but closer to direct ownership of the defendant's corpus for the sole purpose of ensuring his appearance in court), but in practice, our arrests would be classified by law enforcement agencies by risk and procedure as being "high risk warrant service". So, in a roundabout way, YES, there is a percentage of the civilian population which is not only qualified but EXPERIENCED in serving warrants, in many cases more effectively (and more carefully, as we can be prosecuted AND sued, individually and severally if we goof) than the law enforcement agencies.
My other realm of esperience has been as a security officer. I have made one (1) felony arrest in my 10-year career...but it was very carefully researched before I ever put my hands on that fellow, and I did...and when he fought, I gassed him. He was charged with seven (7) felony counts and was carted off to jail. (By "Gassed" I mean with pepper spray...very effective fight stopper up close when neither of you is armed). Other than shoplifters, I didn't do much arresting, but my presence was a deterrent, blah, blah, blah...the point is, been there, done that, and I've never been (nor will I ever be...especially after Waco) a part of any state, federal, or local law enforcement agency. So when the question arises, "Are there people other than cops who can do the job?" My answer is YES.
Also, in certain states such as Texas, armed security officers and private investigators ARE sworn officers and have police powers when on duty, but again, they are privately employed and fully liable for their actions...As it SHOULD be. None of this police state "Oopsie we goofed and shot your family oh-darn but you can't touch us" crap.
In other notes, there are MANY investigative agencies who specialize in forensic science. Some of which are used by the same law enforcement agencies as private agencies. The law gives LEA's a lot more access to private information (can you say Big Brother), but all information can be had, for a price...it's just that private personnel must have 1) More Money and 2) Licensure. (both of which are moot when there are no more "official" agencies).
Just thought I'd put in my two cents. There are more effective detectives carrying licenses than badges these days...to say that to a cop is blasphemy, but from what I've seen, it's the TRUTH...and I cite as my example...
The Hillsborough County Sheriff was looking for one of our defendants for SIX MONTHS while we had him out on bond...did they come to us? NO. Did they ask us for assistance in any way, shape or form? NO. Did they FIND him? NO. When the forfeiture came in that told us he hadn't gone to court, my boss, John, called a couple of us. In the time it took us to suit up and arrive at the office ready to go, he had an address and access to the location. We rolled directly over there and arrested him without incident.
The whole event took us about 4 hours from beginning (when John got the mail) to end (When my signature went on the booking papers).
We did in 4 hours what the entire Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office could NOT do in SIX MONTHS.
Government Efficiency....kinda like "Military Intelligence"
Well, I'm done ranting now. Use what you like from this, and feel free to use my name, but please don't reveal my Email address. I use many pseudonyms online because I don't have the all encompassing "I am A Cop" protection of a law enforcement officer, and some of my defendants are probably not to happy with me.
Very Truly Yours,
Steven B Cox
From: "Scott Cattanach" <email@example.com>
>From: "Alexei Kurupatin" c/o TLE@johntaylor.org
Interestingly enough, I saw the above in TLE, and the article below in the same morning. Evidently, the id the government demands now won't be good enough.
Nation: Fingerprint evidence loses credibility
By MALCOLM RITTER, Associated Press
Within a year, one authority expects, a judge will declare fingerprint evidence unscientific. Another thinks such evidence will still be admitted, but that its credibility will be taken down a notch ...
From: "Patrick Hall" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In your Letter to the Editor of The Libertarian Enterprise you mentioned a friend that had "his business ruined through taxation and regulation and uncontrolled immigration". You fail to see the inconsistancies of opposing those three factors. To oppose taxation and regulation is congruent to a belief system in full property rights. However, to oppose free immigration is to support regulation - that is, the elimation of freely entering into contracts with others. If the government dictates who and who I cannot rent or sale my property to, then I do not "own" my property.
From: "JACK JEROME" <email@example.com>
Hi J C,
Enjoyed the past few issues of TLE, and indeed felt they need pass without comment. Issue 116 was to me a more provocative one deserving of comment in view of some critical words concerning L. Neil Smith's comments on Napster.
I had occasion to opine to Neil that the first book I read of his was a USED book, resold without royalty one paid, and experimentally purchased. I felt a little guilty, the author himself making nothing, and I saving several bucks off a street issue. This is his bread and butter I was talking about. He, (with classic Smith wit) stated that he didn't feel he was A LEGITIMATE AUTHOR until his books showed up in a used bookstore.
Napster compared with the used bookstore is an applicable one, for many reasons, but the most important being it introduces people to music away from the cash register. It isn't marketed or spoonfed to people on the box, but forwarded by people's recommendations. The best advertisement has always been word-of-mouth, in retail circles. This is retail in it's most raw form.
I'm an optimist by nature, (not a gloom and doom Libertarian, which is becoming far too prevalent) and I think people are more honest than the record companies believe. (Why DO we still call them record companies, anyway?) However, reverse psychology can come into play. Call someone something often enough, they'll start to become what you call them. Obviously Napster will have to adapt a bit to survive, expect subscription fees and the like.
This Napster should survive, and it's an expression of freedom to use it. I believe Libertarians should support it. For the record (pardon the pun), I do not now, nor have I ever used Napster. I will, however be often seen perusing used book stores.
From: "Michael Curry" <tle@REMOVEteletactics.com>
Regarding Alexei Kurupatin's letter in issue #116: an acquaintance of
mine sent me these tidbits.
HOW SECURE IS IT?
Though far more secure than passwords and PINS, biometric devices are certainly not foolproof and if someone is creative and tenacious enough, it is not impossible to come up with duping techniques. One method involves building rubber fingers using wax finger imprints and then pouring silicone into the wax mold to create fake fingerprints. Another method entails using talcum powder and tape to copy the impression of a fingerprint off a reader.
"There are ways to fool the reader," said Peter Higgins, who headed the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) from 1992 to 1995. He warns that one the possible dangers of the technology is that people might "rely on it to give a higher level of security than it really affords."
This is starting to get out there: http://www.undercoverpress.com/new_id.html
From: "Brian Jennings" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In regards to the following sentiments (TLE#116):
"Without a doubt, spoons are the root cause of people, including Rosie [O'Donnell], eating everything that's not nailed down...perhaps Rosie herself, clearly a hapless victim of easy spoon-access, could..."
I don't care for Ms. O'Donnell's politics or public statements, either. But I thought we all abhorred the so-called "politics of personal destruction." I've admired your other work I've seen around the Web, and I really think this attitude is childish (at best).
While it is true that Rosie is gay, overweight, and a belligerent hypocrite, none of these facts have anything to do with her attitudes on gun confiscation. I think the case against her views is pretty solid without resorting to such shameful tactics.
From: "Them" <email@example.com>
Dear Mr. Jennings,
Have you ever heard of the term "parody?" The dictionary defines it as: "Humorous imitation of a serious writing... to make fun of by imitating."
What we wrote, sir, was a parody.
Given that fact, we ask the following: Exactly how does a parody about a spoon equal James Carville's hyperbolic term: the "politics of personal destruction?"
Firstly, as you know - any energy which is not burned is stored. Rosie sure seems to be storing more energy than she is burning. Thus, according to the laws of thermodynamics, she eats too much. There's nothing wrong with saying that she eats too much - and then asking: Is the spoon to blame, or is she, herself, the lifter of the spoon to her mouth, to blame for her ample avoir dupois? Rosie herself is one of the prime activists in blaming the tool, and not the person using the tool, for the "crime" - hence the parodistic nature of the analogy we employed to make this point.
One of the serious problems we see is that people are unwilling, for reasons ranging from denial to political correctness, to describe a problem for what it really is. We are accustomed to being dissed for our insistence on trying to call attention to a problem by whatever means we can. In this case it was through using parody and satire.
Actually, we must confess that, like most satire, our piece does tend to be somewhat "personally destructive." It's just not "politics."
So are "Saturday Night Live" and "Mad TV" personally "destructive." We guess those programs must drive you bonkers, with their "politics of personal destruction" parodies of everyone from Bill Clinton to Mother Theresa.
We just don't subscribe to the "Princess and the Pea" attitude of never making fun of anything worth poking fun at - and Rosie and her hypocrisies, and those of her ilk and their hypocrisies are just SO worth poking fun at.
And what "attitude" are you speaking about, besides pointing out the hypocrisy of the position that the tool is the root of specific problems, instead of the tool operator?
Please don't include us as "all" as belonging to some group of whiny, New-Agey-feel-good, politically-correct, humorless, pallid, wimpy, holier-than-thou shmucks, who are "above" using poison-pen ridicule as a weapon. Parody, sir, has a long and honorable history, from Orestes to Shakespeare to H.L. Mencken to Woody Allen - all of whom have used poison-pen-ridicule as an effective weapon to skewer hypocrisy.
Hmmm... now we find ourselves wondering... why did you bring Rosie's sexual preference into a discussion that never referenced in any way Rosie's - or anyone else's - sexual preference / orientation / whatever? We certainly didn't say anything about Rosie's sexual preference, nor do we care about her, or anyone else's, sexual preference. However, now that you mention it... Perhaps the reason that she is a lesbian - if, indeed, she is... we wouldn't know... is the same reason that she is portly... and therefore, if this is so, perhaps "dildo control" should be implemented along with "spoon control."
Mark and Tina Terry