L. Neil Smith's
Number 156, January 14, 2002

Barry Brunstein (the gentleman who mistakenly carried a gun onto a plane) has showed that government airline security is a dangerous fraud that slaughtered thousand on 9-11-2001. He proved libertarians correct in that there is nothing wrong with law-abiding citizens carrying guns, off or on a plane.

Imagine if Brunstein had been on one of the doomed flights of 9-11-2001. If Brunstein had realized he had his gun he could have saved thousands of lives and been a hero.

But Brunstein's gun was discovered and confiscated and he took another flight home disarmed. How ironic it would have been if, on his flight home, terrorists had attempted a sequel to 9-11-2001. Then the government's victim disarmament program would have resulted in more mass slaughter, as it did on 9-11-2001, by searching, disarming and cowing passengers, crew and even pilots.

The government's antidisestablismentarianism in air travel is a dangerous fraud and causes mass slaughter. Government needs to be removed from air travel. Then air travel would develop effective security methods.

Government cannot stop real criminals or terrorists. So instead, the government is creating a criminal felons out of another model citizen who has not committed any act of violence or theft, and who has done nothing to anyone. Perhaps a jury would reject the law and acquit.

Rex Curry echeghlon@seanet.com

Dear TLE,


"Why?" the columnist continued. "Because it's about power. And that's what politics is all about: power -- and the temptations that confront the powerful. Always. And there's no real solution, at least not in this world."

Mr. Pinkerton's premise is correct, though whether he is equally correct in his cynical conclusion has (I would argue) yet to be determined. Prof. Tolkien -- the author taught ancient Anglo-Saxon language and literature at Oxford for half a century -- certainly gave his mythical hero another option.

Pinkerton appears to be no fan. He objects that to get to the political point of Tolkien's work -- crafted after the author saw his beloved and bucolic England twice wracked, and probably changed forever, by the paroxysms of world war -- "The movie watcher must wade through three hours of mostly mumbo jumbo about hobbits and halflings, elves and orcs, and listen to dialogue such as, 'I will bind myself to you, Aragorn of the Dunedain. For you I will forsake the immortal life of my people."

[One] definition of a critic is; "Someone who sings, shouts or blathers his/her insufficiencies to the world."

Although writing this definition makes me a critic of critics, I shall bear the stigma in order to set the record straight.

Live Long & Free,

Don Winfield btp2@mindspring.com

It's articles like this ...

Quote: "Keynesian-style expansion of domestic demand through expanded government spending is now the only answer. Long-term, sensible reforms to help finance that spending as well as incentives to stimulate consumer spending are also needed."

... that make me wonder if I've over-estimated the intelligence of human beings.

Einstein said: "There are two absolutes; the size of the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not certain about the former."

Curt Howland Howland@Priss.com

[Bin Laden's MIA...]

I wouldn't be surprised if the US Feral Government LET him escape. Oh, how opportune'twould be, if the beast turned up in say, Sudan. A great excuse to bomb that country to smithereens - spending billions of (stolen) tax-dollars!

War is, indeed, the health of the State ...

Jesper Juul Keller jjkeller@yahoo.com

Good sir,

Lawrence Lessig, a lawyer of some small "principle" tendency, at least verbally, has presented some answers to questions on Slashdot.org that I believe TLE readers might find interesting. Lots of constitutional stuff, principle verses pragmatism, that sort of thing.


Curt Howland Howland@Priss.com

Letter from Ben Ricciardi

Re: Vin Suprynowicz's Column of 6 January 2002

Dear Editor:

I am writing in regards to Mr. Suprynowicz's column regarding The Lord of the Rings on 6 January 2002. Though I have never agreed with one of his columns, in this case I regret to say that he has neglected even the most obvious of research -- Tolkien's own statements about his work, which directly conflict with Mr. Suprynowicz's conclusion that it is about governmental power. I quote from his forward to the Ballantine paperback edition: "As for any inner meaning or 'message', it [The Lord of the Rings] has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical." Likewise, the War of the Ring is not something that was a reaction to his feelings "after the author saw his beloved and bucolic England twice wracked . . . by the paroxysms of world war." Tolkien again: "The crucial chapter, 'The Shadow of the Past' ... [was] written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disater, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster has been averted. ... [L]ittle or nothing in it was modified by the war that began in 1939 or its sequels."

While I respect Mr. Suprynowicz's anti-government views, I suggest that in the future he refrain from making dead authors unwittingly advocate them as well.

Ben Ricciardi
Henderson, NV

Reply from Vin Suprynowicz

Hi, guys --

Although we have all read the forward to the Ballantine edition, I fear it is Mr. Ricciardi (see inevitable, whining missive [above]) who is a bit remiss in probing "Tolkien's own statements about his work." To wit, note the following passage from one of Tolkien's letters to his son Christopher (then serving in the RAF), found in the "Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien," edited by Humphrey Carpenter:

"My political opinions lean more and more to anarchy. The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power stations. I hope that, encouraged now as patriotism, may remain a habit."

It may not be fair to hold a deceased writer as firmly to an opinion expressed in passing in a personal letter (and in time of war) as to something he intended for publication. Nonetheless, it seems quite possible from the above that Prof. Tolkien was even more of an anarchist than I've chosen to give him credit for.

Anyway, where did I say "Lord of the Rings" was a specific allegory -- asserting that Sauron was Hitler, or the Kaiser, or that Aragorn is meant to represent Charles de Gaulle, or anything of the sort? I wrote about the THEMES of Prof. Tolkien's work and the current movie crafted therefrom: themes which are there in the text for all to deduce, irrespective of whether the author was even consciously aware of them.

What would Mr. Ricciardi propose: that "The Lord of the Rings" was intended as a lesson in how we should all bow to the authority of the Divine Right of Kings? If so, let him explain how he draws that conclusion from the text ... and especially from the repeated righteous anger of the book's more heroic figures when offered the One Ring of Power by little Frodo ... each in turn warning that only harm can come from such power, even when taken up by someone who would initially intend to "use it for good."

Not to mention the dramatic deathbed acknowledgment by the fallen hero Boromir that he was wrong to try and seize the ring, even with just such a noble purpose -- the defense of his home city -- in mind.

Vin Suprynowicz vin@lvrj.com

Death by "Gun Control": The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament, by Aaron Zelman and Richard W. Stevens. The new book from JPFO.

Why does JPFO exist? What motivates us year after year? You can find the answers in our brand new book.

People have asked us to present the whole JPFO argument in one place. We have done it. Available now in an easy-reading format and a handy size, the new book is entitled Death by Gun Control: The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament.

The message is simple: Disarmed people are neither free nor safe - they become the criminals' prey and the tyrants' playthings. When the civilians are defenseless and their government goes bad, however, thousands and millions of innocents die.

Order from JPFO NOW!

COMING SOON FROM JPFO: The State vs. The People, by Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman

Next to advance to the next article, or
Table of Contents to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 156, January 14, 2002.