THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 334, August 28, 2005

Taxation is the fuel of war

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Bill Hartwell

Letter from EJ Totty

Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Dennis Kabaczy

Another Letter from Jim Davidson


Re: "Should The Stones Be Taken Seriously?", by Jonathan David Morris http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle333-20050821-07.html

First Amendment....privileges?

Privileges?

I don't know about you, but as I understand it, the Bill of Rights protects rights, not privileges. And they're a package deal. You violate one, you violate them all.

It doesn't matter if you're Carl Drega, John Wilkes Booth, Rose Wilder Lane, or Mick Jagger. The Bill of Rights protects the same rights for everyone.

Bill Hartwell
yinepuhotep@adelphia.net
www.macmanusnet.net


Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken, and Neil,

Re: "Jackassic Park", by L. Neil Smith http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle333-20050821-02.html

This item has been "hot" news—at least for me, for the last couple of days.

It has also been the subject of editorials in the local area (Western Washington) newspapers, and letters to the editor.

I agree with Neil's assessment entirely, simply because as the Seattle Times editorial said: Those animals were never here to begin with, and therefore should not even be introduced—regardless.

It's a sad statement of ideology, when the only place on this planet that's deemed fit for "re-wilding" is the continental United States.

Canada is not even mentioned, nor is Mexico.

If "re-wilding" is such a good idea, then why are not the proponents of that thesis not suggesting that the idea be applied to the entirety of Europe? Or China? Or of South America, the Middle East, and even Australia?

I wonder what Japan's take will be on this idea, when it comes up for "re-wilding?"

The "reawakening" of the Samuri will be a momentous event! That could be a very good thing.

Is it, do you suppose, that the idiots are attacking the weakest (read: most politically correct) nation first?

I would guess that the Indian nations will just love the idea of having to move off the reservation and into White man territory, in order to accomodate the new "immigrants"...

Yes, indeed!

Finally, as you—in the corollary—point out, Neil, if Africa has a problem with wild animals, then that is Africa's problem, and not the problem of any other land, simply because shifting the blame doesn't solve whatever problem, and in fact just moves it around—a thing that so-called modern "liberals" (read: communists) live for.

EJ Totty
ejt@seanet.com


Dear Editor:

Thanks for reminding me that there was some previous discussion of Nehemiah Scudder by publishing Dennis Kabaczy's excellent follow-up essay. http://ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle333-20050821-03.html

However, his essay contains the following baffling sentence: "I understand we are 'at war' and I understand we must defend ourselves when attacked."

So, I must ask three related questions.

First, who are "we"? I'm not at war, and I've not been attacked by Iraq nor by Afghanistan. Perhaps liberty minded individualists would do well to stop jumping into collectives by bandying about plural pronouns without careful thought.

Second, if "we" are the United States of America, or its people, then how could "we" possibly be "'at war'"? The constitution for the united States of America in Article One, Section Eight, paragraph eleven grants to Congress the power to declare war. I imagine that Dennis recognizes this fact and thus puts "at war" in quotation marks.

There's actually another set of entities which are allowed by the constitution to make war, and those are the several states if "actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay." Conceivably, New York state could engage in war on Saudi Arabia for the invasion of 11 September 2001. So could Virginia, if my map shows where the Pentagon is really located. (Side note: the District of Columbia within Virginia seems to be called Arlington County—must be a result of that War for Southern Independence.)

Third, could anyone refresh my memory? When was the USA attacked by Iraq? If the USA must defend itself when attacked, is there some historical event that I missed while unconscious during that encounter with HPD last year? Did Iraq attack the USA while I wasn't watching? Eleven broken bones and I missed the attack. Darn.

Meanwhile, people who engage in gay, polyamorous, or line, or traditional marriages are not entitled to any benefits, tax or otherwise. Marriage is either between individuals, or it is among individuals (in the case of three or more), or it is among individuals and God, or, in the case of polyamorous polytheists, among individuals and gods, but it has nothing to do with the state. The state usurped the power to license marriages, and decent God-fearing folk should refuse to have anything to do with it.

As with Agenda 21, which is now a burr under Neil's saddle, and many other laws, scratch that, most other laws, scratch that, all laws made by all legislatures, Michigan's law defining marriage as something Solomon and his many wives couldn't have been engaged in has nothing to do with me, thee, or anyone else. Legislatures are populated with fools, some of whom are sometimes useful to big business or the banking cartel. To take seriously their usurpations is silly.

Much the same may be said of Bush and his sundry executive orders.

Regards,

Jim Davidson
planetaryjim@yahoo.com
http://indomitus.net/


To the editor:

I appreciate Mr. Davidson's response to my essay of last week. He raises some points that I was not very clear in expressing, and perhaps was incorrect in expressing the way I did.

When I say "we" are "at war", I am using the pronoun we, to refer to the country in general, from a practical or pragmatic standpoint. Mr. Davidson is correct in his assumption of how I am using "at war" as in fact both the war in Iraq, as well as the war in Afghanistan are illegal as explained by Mr. Davidson. Every war, conflict, peace action, operation, or whatever you choose to call it, "we" have fought since September 1945 has been illegal. "We", however requires some explaining. Regardless how each of us feel as individuals, the rest of the world considers us as a nation, whether we agree or not, to be "at war". A subgroup of "we", doesn't agree with the war, would like to have our country withdraw, agrees with Mr. Davidson, and this would indeed be the correct course of action. Another subgroup of "we" would prefer to expand the war to Iran or Syria, and further the cause of empire. Unfortunately, this is the subgroup of "we" that is currently in control. This does not mean that I think the state is right. It does mean until those of us who feel different can change the circumstances, it is how "we" as a group will be perceived.

As far as my statement, "...we must defend ourselves when attacked." I agree we have not been attacked by Afghanistan or Iraq. We were, however attacked. (Justified or not, is a subject beyond the scope of this essay.) As stated above this is an illegal war. A more appropriate response would have been to declare war on Bin Ladin and his cohorts. Self defense is the right of every living being. It just behooves us to defend ourselves against the right group. The subject being discussed in that paragraph was Patriot Acts I and II. I had not intended to open the discussion on the appropriateness of our current misadventure.

On the subject of marriage: again from a pragmatic viewpoint, yes the state has usurped the power to license marriage. The state also taxes us, again, whether we agree or not. If two (or more) people choose to set up a household it is a de-facto marriage, whether or not the state chooses to recognize it de-jure. If the state is going to recognize one form of marriage, and tax it differently from two separate individuals, then it should do the same for all forms of marriage. The other concern is, since the passage of the marriage amendment in Michigan, some employers, particularly state government agencies, have chosen to cease offering insurance and other benefits that are offered to married couples, to partners in a same sex relationship. Though I would not coerce private companies to offer such benefits, the state, alleging equal treatment for all, should.

Though I agree with Mr. Davidson's premises, not taking a legislature's usurpations seriously, in some areas, will cost some family's, from a practical standpoint, more than they can afford. This applies to marriage, as well as to war.

Dennis Kabaczy
cactusjack@wowway.com


Dear Editor:

In his reply of Tuesday 23 August, Dennis wrote to appreciate my letter. Dennis, please feel free to call me Jim. Everyone else does. "Mr. Davidson" was my grandfather.

It is all well and good to use words as you please, Dennis, but you make some assumptions which are reflected in your usage, and I'd like to pull these up into the light of day. For example, you seem to assume that readers of The Libertarian Enterprise and authors of essays published there are living in the USA, are citizens of the several states or USA nationals, or are legal residents. I think these assumptions bear scrutiny, since I am not living in the USA, I'm not a citizen of any of the states properly a part of the USA, I'm not a USA national, and I've not made any residency declaration.

In my particular case, I live in Texas at the moment. Texas was militarily occupied in 1865, effectively conquered by 1868, but even the scalawag and carpetbagger legislature would not ratify the so-called Fourteenth Amendment declaring the debts of the Confederacy null and void except under duress. (The military governor had 10,000 Union soldiers practice bayonet drills while the legislature watched with their backs to a wall. This demonstration had the desired effect.) So, I don't regard Texas as properly a part of the USA. Other readers I've met reside in places as far away as Canada, Bolivia, England, and Singapore.

For my own part, I am a sovereign individual. I believe in a type of government, which I refer to as self-government, by which I mean the government of the individual, by the individual, and for the benefit of the individual. I disavow any obligation to solve the problems of the collective. In other words, I see two obligations on my part: to do what I think is the right thing to do, and to take no part in a slave society.

> When I say "we" are "at war", I am using the pronoun
> we, to refer to the country in general, from a practical
> or pragmatic standpoint.

Understood. But, your pragmatism doesn't seem very practical to me. You are accepting the summary judgement of others in the world as to who you are and where you fit into the scheme of things. I think doing so lets you in for a lot of grief.

> Every war, conflict, peace action, operation, or whatever
> you choose to call it, "we" have fought since September
> 1945 has been illegal.

Just to be clear, I don't believe I've fought any wars during that time. I certainly haven't agreed to be a part of any fighting.

What's more, I think you should go back to 15 April 1861, a date that Americans commemorate every year, still, and review the unconstitutional actions of Abraham Lincoln, "the American Lenin," per Neil Smith, in demanding money and troops from the states to make an undeclared war on the Confederacy. As I recall, Congress was not even in session at the time to properly declare war.

> Regardless how each of us feel as individuals, the rest
> of the world considers us as a nation, whether we agree
> or not, to be "at war."

There is some truth to this situation, but it is exacerbated by accepting it. Moreover, you don't know everyone else in the rest of the world, so you are summarizing from a very small sample set. Certainly the mainstream media in many parts of the world thinks of all Americans and all residents of the USA (including the militarily occupied parts) as one group. But, I've traveled all over the world, and most individuals don't react to me as an American, nor concern themselves with my residency. They react to me as an individual, and they hold me responsible for my actions. I make it clear that I'm not responsible for the actions of whomever is president at the moment.

It is a mistake, and one you shall inevitably suffer from, to abandon your individuality and accept whatever label these other people in "the rest of the world" say about you. I see no reason to join you in your collective. I'm not a part of your nationalist, socialist government's imperial ambitions.

> A subgroup of "we", doesn't agree with the war, would
> like to have our country withdraw, agrees with Mr.
> Davidson,

It may surprise you to learn that I don't seek the agreement of any subgroup or super-group. I don't care what other people think. Richard Feynman taught me not to care what other people think. Others have taught me to suspect that not everyone acts on thoughtful consideration.

How did the USA get to be your country? You presumably were born within its borders, but does that make it your property? Nope. Do you have any obligation to all these other people who claim you owe taxes, allegiance, and obedience? Did you play the pledge of allegiance game as a child? Do you honestly believe that such a pledge has any meaning? Why not pledge allegiance to yourself, withdraw your allegiance from those who do not deserve it, have not earned it, and have persistently betrayed it? Free yourself from this mythology that it is your country.

It isn't. Your country was stolen a long time ago by evil tyrants. Your country, the USA, is utterly beyond the control and limitations of the constitution. Any social contract, any agreement based on the outline of the constitution's limits to power has been abrogated. You have no control over the USA, you cannot influence its government, so why not choose again? Be your own country. Secede, at least in your mind, until those in power earn your loyalty once again—which I suspect won't happen until a very cold day in Satan's lair.

> It does mean until those of us who feel different can
> change the circumstances, it is how "we" as a group
> will be perceived.

Balderdash. It may be how you are labeled by some, including some particularly brainless twits in the mainstream media. But, as George Carlin noted in his fun book Napalm and Silly Putty, we call it a mainstream because it is too shallow to be a main river.

> As far as my statement, "...we must defend ourselves
> when attacked." I agree we have not been attacked by
> Afghanistan or Iraq.

I've not been attacked by Afghanistan nor by Iraq.

> We were, however attacked.

I lost a friend, John Perry, in the World Trade Center collapse. I certainly believe there is some evidence that USA airport security allowed four planes to be stolen and three of them were crashed into buildings. I am not sanguine that you or I will ever know all the facts. Indeed, I believe the week of 11 September 2001, the day after the attacks, Neil published an essay to the effect that we can be pretty sure we'll never know exactly what happened.

If we are to believe what the mainstream media have said and what artless liars such as the 9/11 Commission have reported, then a bunch of Saudi nationals entered the country, stole planes, and killed people. Is that an attack? If so, it was an attack by Saudi nationals. But, since theft is a crime, and since there is no evidence that these Saudi nationals were carrying letters of marque, I would suggest you consider the events of 11 September 2001 to be just as easily interpreted as a set of crimes. In which case, the criminals involved, again if we are to believe what we've been told—the magic passport that appeared in the rubble included—are all dead now. It is madness to make war upon the dead.

Certainly it is widely accepted that retribution is to be expected. But, it is also widely accepted that forgiveness is a better path. In accepting your role as part of the collective that has been attacked and is at "war," you are, I believe, abandoning the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation. I'm unwilling to consent to be a part of that behavior.

My friend John Perry would be outraged that his death has been used as an excuse to invade Iraq, make the USA into even more of a police state, or force women to drink their own breast milk before getting on aircraft. John was a police officer because joining the police in NY was the fastest way to get his right to keep and bear arms back. John's family has created a fund in his memory to fight against the so-called "war on drugs."

> (Justified or not, is a subject beyond the scope of
> this essay.)

Oh, I thought we were writing letters. Anyway, the people who stole planes and killed civilians were clearly unjust in so doing. I am not as clear on the attack on the USS Cole which involved a military target. There are legitimate ways to prosecute war, and it is important to remember that during the Crusades, the Saracens taught many of these lessons on just war and limiting attacks to military targets to the Europeans. (It all proved to be for nought, as the Mongols subsequently invaded and sacked the Caliphate, setting up what became the Ottoman empire.)

> As stated above this is an illegal war.

Then y'all should pursue an illegal peace.

> Self defense is the right of every living being.

I certainly agree that I have the freedom to defend myself, and every individual has the same freedom.

> It just behooves us to defend ourselves against the
> right group.

Here you employ collective reasoning, and I am made very uncomfortable. I don't agree that all the people killed since October 2001 in Afghanistan by USA military forces were responsible for the 11 September 2001 attacks, and therefore, I don't agree that the right group has been targeted in every case. Moreover, I am decidedly unhappy with this notion that "we" have a collective authority to defend "ourselves" which is greater than the individual freedom to refuse to participate.

> The subject being discussed in that paragraph was
> Patriot Acts I and II.

No such acts exist. There is an artful acronym which makes up the USAPATRIOT act, but it would be mistaken to refer to it as "Patriot Act."

> I had not intended to open the discussion on the
> appropriateness of our current misadventure.

Well, that was certainly my intention. I intend to discuss the appropriateness of misadventures. I disown this one, of course.

> On the subject of marriage: again from a pragmatic
> viewpoint,

It is actually somewhat annoying to people who have a very practical outlook on life and don't believe fantasies and fairy tales about how the state represents us, exists for our sake, is helpful from cradle to grave—except at massacring and smothering—to be told by proponents of the state's mythology that we are not pragmatic. A great many people, such as myself, believe it is your sort who are not pragmatic. Stop propagating the myth of the all powerful state. The state is just a bunch of individuals who have organized things so that when they steal, it is called taxes; when they murder, it is called justice. The state lies with stolen teeth, and lies easily, wrote Nietszche.

> yes the state has usurped the power to license marriage.

If the power was not freely delegated, if the power did not arrive in their hands by consent, then it is no proper power at all, but mere tyranny.

> The state also taxes us, again, whether we agree or not.

Really? You've never signed a form that says that you consent to be a taxpayer? Good for you.

Yes, the state does involve your consent wherever possible. There are forms available at most stores to make the purchase tax-exempt, so you don't have to pay sales tax. Why aren't you filling out those forms? You don't have a non-profit corporation that is qualified to be exempt from taxes? Those are remarkably cheap and easy to form in nearly every state. Wyoming charges $25 for the papers necessary to avoid their sales tax, for example.

> If two (or more) people choose to set up a household
> it is a de-facto marriage, whether or not the state
> chooses to recognize it de-jure.

I believe it would be a mistake to have the de jure status of any matter settled by the state. Rather, it is in fact a tradition of common law that two people who say they are husband and wife are married, whether they have licenses, tax receipts, or wedding rings. The common law is just as legitimate, de jure, as statutory law. It also has much more precedence behind it.

> If the state is going to recognize one form of
> marriage, and tax it differently from two separate
> individuals, then it should do the same for all
> forms of marriage.

Nonsense. The state has no business taxing anything. To the extent that some people agree to income taxes, which Vernie Kuglin and Joe Banister have done a great deal to prove are not owed by you nor anyone else, then those people have a large number of statutes and rules and regulations with which to comply. For all of my understanding, I cannot fathom why anyone would embrace the least part of the tax code.

The other important point to look at here is your subjunctive case. Suppose you fight the first "if," rather than the later "then"? Maybe you'd be better off if the state didn't recognize any form of marriage. Then again, you'd be better off if you didn't recognize the state.

> The other concern is, since the passage of the
> marriage amendment in Michigan, some employers,
> particularly state government agencies, have
> chosen to cease offering insurance and other
> benefits that are offered to married couples,
> to partners in a same sex relationship.

I believe I shall have to squeeze out my handkerchief, now, and send you a full gallon jug of all the tears I have shed for the poor, unfortunate, state employees. Gee, I am so sad for them. It was such a hardship for them to qualify for a civil service job and corresponding benefits in the first place, and to bring themselves to accept money extorted and stolen at gunpoint from taxpayers, willing and otherwise, all over Michigan, just so they can buy bigger automobiles and fancier houses. My goodness, I don't know what to do with all this sorrow. Truly, I am overwhelmed.

Or, to be candid rather than facetious: screw 'em. I hope the filthy varmint scum government workers suffer. They deserve to suffer, endlessly, for the pain, aggravation, theft, murder, and pillaging they have meted out on the rest of the populace. If they were all to be chained together and forced to hear the John Galt speech from Atlas Shrugged read to them over and over again, for a year, while on a diet of bread one day and water the next, I would be entirely without pity or remorse.

> Though I would not coerce private companies to
> offer such benefits, the state, alleging equal
> treatment for all, should.

The state should wither and die. Anything it does less of is better. If it pays fewer people less in benefits, good. Let it pay no people any benefits, and I shall be the happier.

> Though I agree with Mr. Davidson's premises,
> not taking a legislature's usurpations seriously,
> in some areas, will cost some family's, from a
> practical standpoint, more than they can afford.

No, it won't. It may cost them more than they wish to afford, but they can well afford to pay less taxes, do less on the books works, keep fewer receipts, obey fewer regulations, and do for the state nothing at all. I do not ask that these families take on the task of toppling the tyrants from their pedestals. I only ask that they stop doing all the things they do every year to hold those pedestals upright.

It is true that from time to time the evil minions of the state turn their evil eyes to the detriment of individuals. I have been caught in their webs, been arrested, falsely charged, and on one occasion badly beaten. I say that the price of freedom is blood and treasure, and if you aren't willing to afford the price, then you won't ever have the benefits of freedom.

We are coming increasingly to the times that try men's souls. These are the times when the Summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will abandon the cause of freedom and embrace the state, because the state makes it so easy. Thomas Paine wrote words much like those over two hundred years ago.

Sam Adams said that if you don't like the vigorous conflict necessary to support freedom, you may crouch down and lick the hand of the state. But, then, I won't count you as a friend.

No, you are completely wrong. The state is unaffordable. Freedom is comparatively cheap.

Regards,

Jim Davidson
planetaryjim@yahoo.com
http://indomitus.net/


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