L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 222, May 5, 2003
WHAT HAS IT ACCOMPLISHED?
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!
Because then, and only then, do our brightest and most cunning programmers, hackers and crackers have the chance to truly create the programs. And in doing so, they will have the opportunity to bury the bombs, the viruses, the trojan horses, the Easter Eggs, the back doors and side doors and all the other tricks and tools of the hacker's trade right into the middle of the TIA system!
As a fellow nerd, I join Mr. Stone in pledging to "just say no" if asked to aid in the creation of the Total Information Awareness abomination.
Yes, it can be done, but only if we programmers get together and plan this out, including going out of our way to support every aspect of the TIA system. We can do it. The question is; Are we willing?
I will not contribute in any constructive manner to such filth as this TIA program unless I am tortured.
FANTASY ISLE; NW PG WBST FLIGHT O FANCY : SONGBOOK
Use it in good health and good spirits. If you ever make any money I would like some please.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NRA HAS OWN MEMBER ARRESTED AT NATIONAL CONVENTION
April 29, 2003 The National Rifle Association apparently had one of its members, a pro-gun activist, arrested at its national convention on Sunday, April 27, 2003 in Orlando, Florida for handing out pro-gun freedom literature from the Free State Project, Inc. The unlucky NRA member was Timothy Condon, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Director of Member Services for the rapidly growing Free State Project. He was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff's Department Sunday for "trespassing" outside the Orange County Convention Center when he refused to leave or cease handing out the Free State Project literature (sample attached).
"I believe there is a First Amendment problem with prohibiting people from passing out political literature on public property where there is no problem caused by it," said Condon, who also happens to be an attorney who practices law in Tampa, Florida. "What is even more bizarre to me is that the National Rifle Association would have one of its own members arrested for passing out literature that supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."
Condon, who was attending the NRA convention himself, was held for 10 hours at the Orange County Jail before being released on bond. Jason Sorens, founder and president of the Free State Project, vowed to explore legal action against the National Rifle Association. "This is just outrageous," said Sorens. "It appears that the NRA only supports the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution if it's done according to their orders. I really think members of the NRA need to question their loyalty to an organization that would have one of its own members arrested for passing out pro-gun literature at its own convention."
Condon, a longtime NRA member, vowed to plead not guilty to the charge of trespassing, and said he is considering canceling his membership in the organization. "It looks as if the Free State Project is a stronger supporter of the Second Amendment, not to mention the First Amendment, than the NRA," he quipped.
A PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
As a seasoned amateur performer, having participated in a score or more of community theatre productions, I have a love for both pageantry and audience participation. Thus, combining that with my love for this country, and for the flags of our past, present, and future, I have always enjoyed The Pledge of Allegiance. However, it has also somewhat troubled me. Many patriotic Americans love this country and her flag no less for being non-religious, and many of us, understanding the principles of States' Rights and State Sovereignty, would often find ourselves pausing over the expression "one nation under god, indivisible."
While we are, indeed, a single Confederation of States, there is no support in our Constitution for the concept of indivisibility, and, while there is also no mention of a "separation of church and State", the First Amendment does stipulate that the "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion," which leads inevitably to the conclusion that there can be no Federal or national support for religion. Therefore, as a Pledge to the Flag of the United States, the expression, "one nation under god, indivisible" is at best discordant, and more likely presumptuous.
I would not attempt to do away with a cherished public ritual that acts so well to draw a crowd to a common feeling and a common purpose. I would, however, like to offer an alternative to awkward silence for those of an atheist (or simply more private) persuasion, as well as those understanding the voluntary and confederal structure of our Union.
If I may...
I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
Lehr Duquesne [firstname.lastname@example.org]
VOTE SWAPPING TO ESCAPE THE TWO-PARTY SYSTEM
I've thought of a way to punch at least a small hole in the two party system and allow some votes to leak out. I call it vote swapping, and it works like this:
Get a mail-in (absentee) ballot, and before you hold your nose and vote for a D or an R, call up a friend who is likely to be canceling your vote with as little enthusiasm. Sit down together and cast both of your votes for minor party candidates (like Libertarians).
You can look over each other's ballots for verification and then seal them and drop them in the mail together, going away satisfied that while voting for your true favorite(s), you still managed to cancel "the enemy". The margin between D's and R's will be unchanged by the compromise, but the support for minor parties will be more fully expressed.
Who knows? If my idea spreads and becomes a movement, organizations (like the Libertarian parties of the various states... hint, hint) could host "vote swapping parties" to facilitate the process. Individuals could also shop for vote swappers online. Since erstwhile D's and R's would meet face to face, our feelings oriented mass media could hope to create multicultural irony to film, so newspapers and local TV stations, might jump in with swap meets of their own. Do it right, and we might actually elect some L's to Congress or even the electoral college.
This and my other ramblings can be found at my steadily growing web site: jeffryfisher.net/statesman
Jeff Fisher [email@example.com]
THE ILLEGITIMACY OF THE US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
I've been having somewhat of a philosophical evolution of late, and I'm beginning to have seditious thoughts. I don't know who to speak to about these thoughts, so I am sending them to you in the hope that I'll get some wisdom in return. Possibly, this letter will spark a lively dialogue.
Merriam Webster defines the word "legitimate" in five ways.
The first is about birth, so doesn't apply here. The final definition relates to actors, and doesn't apply here either. (maybe it does....politicians act like the Constitution matters....as they ignore it.) It is the three in the middle with which we'll concern ourselves today.
The second definition is "being exactly as purposed, neither spurious nor false." The original thirteen States of America were founded long before they were united. In fact, the Declaration of Independence uses the uncapitalized word "united", which was to describe their relation to each other, not to apply a new portion of the name of a new nation. The Constitution, ratified in 1789, is the form of government "being exactly as purposed, neither spurious nor false." Any deviation from that original document must come through the amendment process, given in the very Constitution. All other deviations are illegitimate. Therefore, our present government, which in most instances does not acknowledge the strictures of the Constitution upon it, is both false and illegitimate. Naturally, all laws enacted by that government which do not acknowledge the strictures of the Constitution, are false and illegitimate.
The third definition is "accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements." Our Federal Government's legitimacy rests in the Constitution, and it alone. To the extent that the FedGov deviates or simply ignores the Constitution in its machinations, it is both tyrannical and illegitimate. Today, it makes war, spends money, and passes laws illegitimately and unconstitutionally.
The fourth definition is "conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards." This definition is much fuzzier than the last two. Today, legal precedent is being given greater weight than the underlying law of our nation, which is the Constitution. To embrace this definition is an acceptance of the Secular Humanist philosophy of "situational ethics." It also goes along with the philosophy of a "Living Constitution", in which the founding document is subject to change if only by the edict of a Supreme Court ruling. So, if a rule or standard is "accepted" then it's legitimate. This is the zeitgeist of today's Federal Government, and of the majority of the citizens of the USA.
I believe that by simply applying the definitions found above to the myriad ways our Federal Government employees operate in their office, we can easily see that the Federal Government of the United States of America is an illegitimate government. Those elected or appointed to positions in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches are required to swear an oath of office (Article II, Article VI) to support, protect and defend the Constitution. Any of those persons who fail to do so are traitors, and should be arrested and tried in a court of law for their crimes. At the very least, those politicians should be fired or impeached and removed from office.
What are just some of the ways each of the branches violate the Constitution?
The illegitimate Federal Government funds itself in a number of ways:
Are we bound by morals or law to send our taxes to an illegitimate government?
Are we bound by morals to obey illegitimate laws passed by an illegitimate government? If another sovereign nation passed a law that, for example, assessed a $10 per person tax on each American citizen, would American citizens send in their money? Or, would they consider that law, and that government illegitimate.....and ignore it? If they would ignore that law, passed by an illegitimate government, why would the American citizen willingly succumb to thousands of illegitimate laws that affect them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is it because we elected these scoundrels, and feel obligated? Is it simply geographical, in that these tyrants are on our soil?
Are we so afraid of the IRS and its power that we send our money in as a kind of protection payoff.......hoping that they'll just leave us alone? Please don't misunderstand me. I don't wish to become a tax protestor. The FedGov loves to crush unruly individuals as a good example to the rest of the sheep what will happen to them if they step out of line. So, maybe I'm just a coward. It just seems to me that my protest would serve no purpose. But, what would the FedGov do if 25 million people simply refused to send their money to the IRS?
For me and my wife, becoming an expatriate seems to be a better idea. I can't believe that I'm entertaining this thought seriously, but I cannot see how the USA is going to survive. Libertarians are not going to bail out this rowboat fast enough to save her. I can run my Internet businesses from anywhere in the world that I can get an Internet connection and a phone line. Also, I can run my insurance claims adjusting business from anywhere.....and hurricanes blow through the Caribbean pretty regularly. Hurricane Georges smacked the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico pretty hard in 1998.
The Dominican Republic or Panama are both looking pretty good to me right now....maybe Grand Cayman.
Russell D. Longcore [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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