L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 297, November 14, 2004
"Where can we go from here?"
Department of Oops
Last issue carried a letter from L. Neil Smith replying to a letter from Joseph Crowe, which I forgot to include in TLE due to mental derangement, total idiocy, or some other sad condition that us old people fall into all the time. My apologies, it wasn't on purpose, and it won't happen again. Er ... maybe.Editor
Re: Neil Smith's The Nightmare After Halloween http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2004/tle295-20041031-02.html
First of all, I enjoy Neil's columns and appreciate his point of view. However, I can't quite get over the idea that in spite of his assertions to the contrary, Neil might just enjoy initiating a little aggression. To me, an indication of this lies in his vehement declaration that he's not a pacifist. I guess that's a matter of operational definition, because I consider myself a pacifist in that I oppose initiating force, either personally or by proxy through the actions of the ferals. That does not mean that I will not defend myself if attacked. This may be where Neil's definition of pacifist conflicts with mine. Mine follows: A pacifist opposes war. The conflict in Iraq bears opposition, if one wishes to remain true to the holy grail of the non-aggression principle. Wars require states to exist. States, even minimal ones, depend on aggression for their very existance.
Neil asserts that he votes as an act of self-defense. He dismisses people who don't vote on principle, the principle being that voting for anybody, including libertarians, means voting for a state, regardless of size or intent. Voting is a means of a majority, any majority, infringing the rights of a minority, any minority. The system is broken
Here's my point. Your vote is a meaningless joke, regardless of who you vote for or against. Voting is a waste of time and resources. The only way leviathan state will reduce in size and scope is through total failure, bringing down the economy in the process. Bush and his ilk believe that they can continue forever with the current destructive actions. Obviously they never took Bastiat's Broken Window fallacy to heart. I don't believe that the runaway state can be stopped at this point by any means, other than self-destruction. On the other side of that process, individual liberty may again flourish.
P.S. The person referred to as an early mentor, who advocated support for Bush...were his initials JH by any chance?
Liberty Watch, my show on AM 690 in Tucson, is going to be streamed live on the web from now on, 12 noon - 2 PM Mountain Standard Time Sunday. It would sure be a thrill to get calls from outside my market area. Call in line is 520-790-2040.
Link to stream is: http://network76.serverroom.us:8600/liberty.ogg.m3u
Re: "Letter from The Free State Project" http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2004/tle296-20041107-01.html#letter7
Kat Dillon of the FSP asks rhetorically, "How can you help?"
Got a different question to ask, "Why should I help?"
If New Hampshire is the bastion of liberty that we have been promised, why was it the only state the Libertarian candidate was not on the ballot? Even Nader got on the ballot in New Hampshire and the Democrats were fighting to the death to keep his name off the ballot everywhere they could.
Why should I actively recruit folk to go to New Hampshire when they couldn't manage to gather the pittance of signatures necessary to put our candidate on their ballot? Why should I want to go to New Hampshire, the one state where our candidate couldn't get on the ballot? Three Thousand Names! That is all you needed and you couldn't pull that off? A fellow activist here in Colorado I spoke with commented that he got that many in one day of gathering signatures for a state wide initiative.
Maybe you folks better re-think your state of choice a bit. Until then I can't take this idea seriously.
Commentary on the selection... er, election
Even more so than before, this (s)election definitely was a "damned if you do/damned if you don't" affair.
On the one hand you have your average elitist liberal (a card carrying member of the left wing of the Boot on Your Neck Party) trying to inflict the "Nanny State" on us. We're quite familiar with "Nanny." She's overbearing and condescending. She only wishes to take care of us from cradle to grave. She also wants to make sure that we don't get our grubby little mitts on bad things that we might hurt ourselves with. And if some of us get smothered and suffocated, well that's just a price she's willing to pay; after all, she's doing it "for our own good."
On the other hand you have your average elitist conservative (a card carrying member of the right wing of the Boot on Your Neck Party) trying to inflict a variation of the "Nanny State" on us, which I call the "Drunken Stepfather State." "Stepfather," an overbearing, condescending jerk, who, when not busy trying to prove his manliness by picking a fight with everyone on the block, is constantly harassing and bullying us while subjecting us to drunken tirades about how we need some more "Gee-Dee discipline." (and, yes, he says "Gee-Dee"after all, he's also a religious man). He only wishes that we'd just see things his way and toe the line. And if some of us wind up with bloody noses and black eyes, well we better all just "suck it up"; after all, he's doing it "for our own good."
All I gotta say Ken is that "None of the Above" never looked so good.
Robert J. Cruze Jr
Dear Sir and Madam:
I am writing you in both a professional and personal capacity to ask for your assistance in defeating one of the most insidious measures to ever be devised by Washington beaurocrats, specifically the recommendations of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
As you are no doubt aware, this Commission has recommended that compulsary mental health evaluations of schoolchildren be undertaken by public schools.
There is presently over five decades of excrutiatingly clear evidence that the ongoingand wholly Unconstitutionalmeddling of the Federal Government in education produces nothing but disaster. Today, even the best public school graduates can only be termed "ignorami" when compared to most mediocre high school graduate of 1950. Indeed, I am fond of pointing out that my dirt-poor West River cattle-rancher grandparents who attended one-room schoolhouses recieved a far superior education to any modern graduate of the best Sioux Falls schools.
Given this incontrovertible evidence, requiring these same public schools to now officially assume responsibility for a child's mental health is at best a recipe for poorer schools.
At worst, it lays the foundations for nothing less than mind control on the part of government.
No doubt this assertion seems alarmist. To support it, I further submit that there is no evidence that a Federal program, once enacted, remains within the bounds of its original intent. Once created, Federal programs simply grow without limit. Even if one assumes a begign intent to help psychologically troubled students, once schools are empowered by government to maintain a child's mental health, the definitions of such mental health then fall to government to create.
Imagine such power in the hands of anyone with anything less than totally altruistic motives.
This is the worstif not the most potentially terrifyingidea ever put forth by the Federal Government.
Personally as a constituent and profesionally on behalf of the Zero Aggression Institute, I urge you to oppose any implementation of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. I will be contacting each of your offices to discuss this matter with you personally.
To anyone who has my online art gallery "LibertyArtworx.com" bookmarked, or who has my alternative e-mail addy, firstname.lastname@example.org, in his address-book, I have an announcement:
I am phasing out the name "LibertyArtworx" and instead using my given name, Scott Bieser, as a Web address. As of today, the old e-mail address doesn't work, and I've set the libertyartworx.com domain to point at my new web address, scottbieser.com. If you come across an old libertyartworx.com link to one of my cartoons, and it doesn't work, you can most likely correct it by changing "libertyartworx" to "scottbieser" in the link.
Just so's you know...
Presidential Candidates to Demand Ohio Recount
David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the 2004 Green and Libertarian presidential candidates, today announced their joint intent to secure a recount of presidential ballots cast in Ohio.
"Due to widespread reports of irregularities in Ohio's voting process, we are compelled to demand a recount of the Ohio presidential vote," the two candidates said in a joint statement. "Voting is at the heart of the American political process and its integrity must be preserved. When Americans stand in line for hours to exercise their right to vote, they need to know that their votes will be counted fairly and accurately. We are acting to protect the rights of the people of Ohio, and the rights of all Americans. Public trust in the democratic process is at stake."
The candidates also demanded that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who chaired the Ohio Bush campaign, recuse himself from the recount process.
Ohio's election proceedings were marred by numerous press and independent reports of voter intimidation, mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and disenfranchisementapparently by designof African-American voters. A number of citizen and voting rights organizations will hold hearings this Saturday in Columbus, Ohio to give an airing to, and investigate, these claims. The hearings will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the New Faith Baptist Church, 955 Oak Street. Voters, poll workers, journalists and voting experts are invited to testify. A second hearing will be held on Monday at a location to be announced, from 6-9 p.m.
The Badnarik and Cobb campaigns are in the process of raising the required fee, estimated at $110,000, for securing a complete recount. The campaigns are accepting contributions through their web sites. The Badnarik-Campagna website is http://www.badnarik.org. The Cobb-LaMarche website is http://www.votecobb.org.
Throughout this election cycle, the Cobb and Badnarik campaigns have worked together in a spirit of cooperation and civility rarely found in electoral politics. The campaigns jointly participated in and/or sponsored a series of independent debates, and the two candidates were arrested together in St. Louis protesting their exclusion from the restricted, two-party corporate-sponsored "debates." Now, as the election results remain in question, Michael Badnarik and David Cobb are proud to once again act together on behalf of the rights and interests of the American people in reaching the truth.
Someone [not indicated who] wrote:
It depends on how you define "serious."
Do you consider education and spreading the word so that future liberty-minded candidates can win to be serious? I do.
Before the election, less than 50% knew what Libertarians were. Its now about 76% who do. That's progress.
Of course, we may be "selling" something that is not in demand. What does that say about this country? It would be quite sad if, in the final analysis, we determine that, "yep, people really DO love socialism and cryptofascism and safety above all else."
I say this because even in the Republican Party, the RLC has not had an easy time of things. Even non-RLC but liberty-minded candidates like William Weld (Mass.) and Craig Benson (NH) suffered defeat. Howard Dean, while far from perfect, was at least pro-gun, pro-balanced budget (though at too high a level to be acceptable), and anti-war (meaning he sounded suspiciously like an Old Right Republican) and he lost.
Liberty itself does not seem to be a hugely-winning platform, no matter what party you are in.
If that is the case, then our job is to not necessarily get elected, but to spread the word about what liberty really is. In short, L. Neil Smith is right: we're never going to win given the deliberate sabotage and rigging of the system by the Republicrats/Demopublicans. We might as well stand for principle.
Alan R. Weiss