L. Neil Smith's
Number 248, November 23, 2003

The Elvis of Science Fiction

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from Scott Bieser

Letter from Lehr Duquesne

Letter from Alan R. Weiss

Another Letter from Scott Bieser

Letter from Dennis Kabaczy

Re: Free State Problems, by William Stone, III


Nice article (about the Free State Project situation, although I have a couple of quibbles.

I also did not participate in the FSP mainly because I strongly suspected they would end up choosing New Hampster and I knew I didn't want to go there. But what I didn't find out about until later is that FSP offered members the ability to "opt out" of particular states on the list that they knew they could not accept.

One of the more visible activists who has now split from FSP and is trying to lead a group to Wyoming -- Kenneth Royce, aka Boston T Party -- had "opted out" of all the eastern states. It was because he made his departure as highly visible as his joining, and said a few intemperate things in the process, that he has incurred a lot of enmity from the FSP loyalists. But he and others who "opted out" of New Hampshire are not being dishonorable in planning now to go elsewhere.

My other quibble is that I think there are more than four cultures in the U.S. There are at least sixteen: Rural New England, Boston-DC Megapolis (what we think of as "East Coast"), Southeastern, South Floridian, Allegheney/Appalachian, Deep Southern, Tex-Arkansan, Midwestern, the Grain Belt (the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, plus the Texas Panhandle and eastern parts of Colorado and Wyoming), Northern Rockies, Southern Rockies, Southwest (which includes Southern California inland of the coastal counties), Sierras, Southwest Coast, Bay Area, Northwest Coast. This doesn't include the various sub-cultures and enclaves.

I think one of the best benefits of the FSP so far has been the highly useful database it has built comparing livability factors of the various states under consideration, from a libertarian perspective. Based on that, I am making plans to move from inland Southern California to Wyoming in 2-3 years, although it won't be just because of BTP.

Scott Bieser
proprietor, LibertyArtworx.com

Re: Free State Problems, by William Stone, III

As I understand it, the agreement was for five thousand participants to vote, which is not what actually happened, so all bets are off. So far, where I stand probably is if not even twenty-four hundred people couldn't send in a ballot, I don't see how five thousand, let alone twenty thousand, could come to an agreement to move. I'm thinking if we can get at least five thousand here to the Big Island, we'll have a County the size of Connecticut or Delaware or Puerto Rico. Hawaii can be the Powerhouse of the Pacific, the Hong Kong of the Twenty-first Century! There is relatively little military presence on this Island, one tenth the population of the State, and two-thirds the land mass.

Everything is possible.

Long Live the Free State New Hampshire.
Long Live the Free State Wyoming.
Long Live the Republic of Hawaii.

Lehr Duquesne

Re: Free State Problems, by William Stone, III

With the respect he's earned over the years, I'll say this:

1. You're not moving. Fine. You're not a member. Fine. You're not registered as a Friend of the FSP. Fine too. Not much at stake for you, eh? grin

2. MOST people in the FSP knew there was going to be an East-West schism. However, a LOT of people voted for NH first, and Wyoming second ... and indeed vice-versa. There was a fair amount of geographical mixing, in other words. But certainly there was a whole bunch of schism. Point is, the FSP tried to minimize it so that every state had a fair shake at the vote.

3. Have you ever visited New Hampshire recently? You might be shocked. Or not. But at least you'd KNOW. Its not what you think it is. Or maybe it is. You get to decide that - but its NOT an "east coast" mindset except in valuing tradition too much. No state income tax, no state sales tax, pro-gun laws for the most part, lots of hunters and fishers, mostly empty spaces (its not crowded), and it has mountains and "notches." Point is, most of what you "know" is wrong. The parts that aren't, though, may kill it for you.

Having said that, you ARE right: east is east, west is west, and MANY won't make the transition - or want to. The problem the FSP had with the Western Free Staters was ALL ABOUT TIMING, and not necessarily about its establishment. FSP leadership asked Boston T. Party (Ken Royce) to wait two years to announce. Most members would have been glad if he'd waited THREE MONTHS, to let the FSP garner the publicity and momementum it needs to really make it all happen. He didn't wait THREE WEEKS. Nothing illegal, just sucked, that's all.

In the end, we'll just hag$o see.

Alan R. Weiss
alan at ebenchmarks.com

Re: Free State Problems, by William Stone, III

Well, even though I have spurned New Hampster myself, and think Kenneth Royce is correct in preferring Wyoming even as he was ham- handed in his departure from FSP, I want to declare that I _do_ wish good fortune to the Free New Hampshire Project (which is what it really is now).

I hope they get their "20,000 freedom-minded individuals," and they just might, although they won't be all libertarians because I don't think there are 20,000 libertarians in the United States. At least not by my definition, which is nearly the same as LNS's except that I substitute the word "incite" for "advocate".

My plans to move to Wyoming do not depend on anyone else moving there, or not. I do hope Royce and others are able to lure other libertarians there -- hell, maybe I'll lure a few there myself. Since I'm a non-voter now, I don't think Royce will have much use for me anyway, since his plan is to use libertarian voters to take over county governments. But I don't think I'll live in one of the remote, super-low-population counties he wants to start in anyway. I'm looking at the Cheyenne area, or maybe Laramie. Maybe I'll change my mind and start voting again when I get up there. We'll see. I hear they have electronic voting machines. Maybe not.

The FSP/FNHP is now transforming from a democratic project into a "re-constitutional unanimous consent" project. Those who have a personal commitment to making the plan work will move to New Hampster. Those who don't have that commitment won't, regardless of what they've pledged or opted out of or not. Those who feel that it is vital to get 20,000 "freedom-minded" people, or close to that number, to relocate, will have to undergo the effort of persuading 16-18,000 more people to make the move.

And all this is as it should be.

Scott Bieser
proprietor, LibertyArtworx.com

Re: Pro-Lifers Link Euthanasia to Abortion, by Wendy McElroy

Concerning Wendy McElroy's article of 9 November:

Usually I agree with most of what Ms. McElroy says. Her article "Pro-Lifers Link Euthanasia to Abortion" (TLE 246) is no exception. I agree with most of what she says.

The exception with this article is her statement concerning "separation of powers". Regardless of how one feels about the functioning of the government, it is supposed to function with one branch of government overturning the rulings of another. This is part of the checks and balances the constitution is alleged to provide. Examples include the veto power (executive vs legislative), the supreme court declaring laws or departmental regulations unconstitutional (judicial vs legislative or executive), and congress rewriting laws after the courts declare them unconstitutional (legislative vs judicial).

As much as one may abhor or support Gov. Bush's actions, this is the way government was envisioned to work. With each branch picking away at the power of another, government was supposed to keep itself in check.

Perhaps if we had more of this, they would be too busy bothering each other to bother us.

Dennis Kabaczy
Canton, MI

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