L. Neil Smith's
Number 216, March 24, 2003

Shucks and Aw!

Random Observations

by James J Odle

Special to TLE

A Well-Kept Secret!

"Hey, buddy. Over here." [Voice drops to the level of a whisper.] "Kuwait was slant-drilling for oil into Iraqi oilfields."

"Err.. I didn't quite catch that," said Buddy.

[A little louder this time.] "I said, Kuwait was slant-drilling for oil into Iraqi oil fields."

"Come again. One more time."

[Shouting now.] "I said, Kuwait was slant-drilling for oil into iraqi oil fields!"

"OK. OK. I heard you. Why tell me?"

"Well I just thought I'd mention it seeing as we have a little war scheduled for next week and this little factoid seems to be completely missing from conservative talk radio. You see, what we really did during the first Gulf War Insanity was come to the aid of thieves!"

Speaking of the forthcoming Gulf War madness, I understand there is a document out there called the Project for a New American Century. I haven't read it but I understand it details a Republican plan to invade Iraq and was formulated long before September 11. It seems that the Republicans had planned to invade Iraq all along and the World Trade Center bombing only provided them with the excuse.

If I understand their reasoning correctly, they have determined that the only way to bring anything resembling political sanity to the Middle East is to invade and bring a little civilization to the barbarians.

Isn't it interesting? The Democrats love to engage in domestic social engineering whereas the Republicans love to socially engineer everyone and everything on the planet — when they can — all in the name of 'freedom', of course.

An Announcement

John Ross, author of Unintended Consequences, appeared on a local radio show today, Declare Your Independence with Ernie Hancock. Seems Mister Ross is halfway through writing a sequel — as yet, untitled — to his fabulous novel. I'd start looking for it about a year from now.

Counter Holmes

Whenever the subject of rights is discussed, sooner or later the Sainted US Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes' favorite saying, "Nobody has the right to shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre!" is brought up and everybody's brain switch flips to the 'off' position. As I see it there are several problems with the argument:

  1. It is frequently used to shut off discussion on why individual rights aren't being taken seriously.

  2. It is also used to justify anything that politicians want to do.

  3. The very purpose for the why the federal government was created in the first place seems to be completely missing from the legal mentality. What was that purpose? The Founding Fathers set up a government that was intended to secure our rights. They did not set up a government that would be in the business of deciding what our rights are. For the employee {the federal government} to be deciding what the rights of the employer {We the People} are or when they are available is gross insubordination.

  4. Also missing from the legal mentality is the very concept of what having rights is all about. Lets review:

    Rights are things that your government, the legal profession and your fellow man are required to respect at all times whether they like it or not. This is why they are called rights and not government granted privileges. The only imposition on the individual is the requirement that he conducts his public affairs peacefully.

Time for another Runnymede.

Counter Hannity

A few weeks ago I was listening to Sean Hannity's radio show when he foolishly got into an argument with a Constitutionalist during which he asked the burning question, "Well who should I believe about the proper interpretation of the Constitution? You or people who have spent their entire lives studying it?!"

I'm going to go with the Constitutionalist on this one. First, judges spend their lives studying the opinions of other judges and not the Constitution itself in order to maintain something called 'precedent.' The average judge probably hasn't read the Constitution in years. Second, if we listen to the legal profession we might foolishly get the idea that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are taken seriously by lawyers or that they are the legal equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls or that these documents were written in Egyptian hieroglyphics and that they are understandable only to people who wear black robes for a living.

When are we Libertarians going to realize that real freedom cannot be restored to America without reforming the legal profession? Whenever government criminality can be found there is a lawyer proffering all the necessary rationalizations to justify the policy. Speaking of which...

King George - Criminal-in-Chief!

Here's a question to ask anyone who believes that the President has God-like powers over the military:

"Suppose President Bush were to go completely insane and order every member of the military to march to the top of the Empire State building and fling themselves off into space, would the military have a moral and legal obligation to comply?"

Of course, the answer is 'no' which in turn raises the issue of determining exactly where the line of demarcation lies between a lawful Presidential order and an unlawful one. Well this issue was settled by the Founding Fathers by the Constitution's delegation of the power to declare war to Congress.

The way the system is supposed to work is this: First, Congress declares the war and then the President conducts it. I thought everyone learned this in high school.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President simply runs the military. It does not mean that he owns the military!

Why does Dubya believe that he has the right to send our fellow citizens into combat at any time or for any reason he pleases? Well, its because a government attorney told him he could! Anyone with a lick of sense about government and lawyers knows that with the slightest effort, he could have gotten a different lawyer to give him the exact opposite opinion!

Here's the way the game is played. First, the President, without actually consulting the Constitution at any time, decides what his policy should be. Then, he goes and get his government attorney to proffer up all the clever excuses and justifications to make his forthcoming criminality publicly acceptable!

I'm making a list and I'm checking it twice!

I've been making a list of all the Washington politicians who can be depended upon to take their Oaths of Office to uphold and defend the Constitutions seriously and I've come up with:

Congressman Ron Paul

And then there's ... there's ... oh, let's see, there's ... nobody else.

James J. Odle is a splendid fellow who, unlike the vast majority of so-called 'public servants' has a real job in the private sector performing real work, which a real employer voluntarily pays him to perform. He is also a Life Member of Gun Owners of America.


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by Carl Bussjaeger
"Access to Space for Everyone!"

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