L. Neil Smith's
Number 359, March 19, 2006


Letters to the Editor

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Letter from James J Odle

Letter from Bob Shea

Letter from Ernest Hancock

Another Letter from James J Odle

Firefly Second Season?

Hey Ken:

Evidently there are a few fans attempting to bring back Firefly for a second season—or as the web site itself says:

The Firefly Season 2 Project:
Captain Mal and the crew of Serenity need your help to stay flying.

We are looking to push the envelope of episodic television by offering Season Two of Firefly in a groundbreaking new format. Each episode (or the entire season) would be made available for purchase in Standard or Hi-Definition.

It's possible that subscribers may choose one of three playback options; monthly DVD deliveries, TV On-Demand using your cable or satellite provider, or computer viewing via Streaming Download.

It's also possible that a box set of DVD's would be available at the end of the season.

In order for our plan to be successful, we need to take stock of the browncoat recruits that support our cause. It will only take a minute, is strictly confidential, and each profile will take us one steLD+b p closer to victory!

Fill out your Recruit Profile now.


Those interested in seeing more of this libertarian sci-fi show should show their interest at:


Take care,
James J Odle

A rant caused by the article "By a Show of Hands..."

I just read the article titled "By a Show of Hands, Who Cares About The First Amendment?" by Mr. Morris and I would like to show my hand. Good stuff.

The article did point out that driving is a privilege and not a right and that got me to thinking. (Never a good thing) I understand that a privilege can be denied and a right, supposedly, cannot. Hang with me for a second while lay out a couple of 'what if' scenario's.

What if a government agent wishes to search my house without a warrant. I assert my "rights" and say no. The government agent tells me to reconsider or I will lose my driving "privileges". I think about it for 2.1 seconds. I can't go pick up my kid, go to the store or get to work without driving. Not without a major inconvenience and hassle anyway. At the end of 2.1 seconds I let them search. Who wouldn't? After all, I have nothing to hide.  :-(

What if the next day I go to my polling location to vote. A government agent stops me at the door and says my vote is not needed and that I should go home. If I mention my "right" to vote I am told my driving "privileges" will be forfeit if I assert it. I want to vote but I figure my candidate will only get about 1% anyway and driving is an important "privilege". 2.1 seconds later I decide not to vote.

Need a more realistic scenario? Someone is pulled over while driving and the government agent wants him to bear witness against himself and take a breathalyzer. He is told he must prove he is innocent of drunk driving or be found guilty on the spot. He can assert his "right" against self-incrimination and refuse the test. If he does assert his "right" he will be denied the "privilege" of driving and basically be considered guilty of DUI and go to jail etc. This is the law.

If driving is a "privilege" it can be taken away on the whim of the government (backed by law of course). The threat of losing this "privilege" can be used to convince people not to assert any "rights" they foolishly think they have. And what about all the other things besides driving that we are told are "privileges"? Traveling by air or walking down the street just to name two. (You can be stopped from either of these if you do not produce a government accepted I.D. for the authorities on demand.) I think we are in trouble.

Anyway that's my rant. Thanks for listening.

Bob Shea

Ernest Hancock
Ernest Hancock seeks the Chairmanship
of the United States Libertarian Party

... and here's why:

My exposure to libertarian philosophy in 1991 lifted a great burden from me. Like many others I was very pleased to learn that principles of truth and justice had been able to make its way into the political arena where they were greatly needed. My wife and I had just had our fourth child when the reality of the true nature of our government was revealed to us in 1989. Starting a business, playing by the rules and living a clean life only made you easy cream to be skimmed from the top by an ever encroaching government. Increased association with others seeking answers only put us close enough to the front lines in the freedom movement to see the results of government bombardments. It was soon clear that government force was used to keep the people from developing any illusion that they had any control over those who would claim to rule every aspect of our lives. At the same time unlimited resources would be used to convince an entire population that this force of government was for our benefit, and to even question its use made you an 'Enemy of the State'.

This story of a young family becoming aware of what would be waiting for their children as they came of age is repeated thousands, even millions, of times across America. Like so many others we sought the truth and a way to invest a portion of our time and money in doing what we could to ensure a better life for ourselves and our family. Activities that would provide some assurance that our children would enjoy at least as much freedom starting a family as we had starting ours.

Details of my activism that brought our family into contact with libertarians can be discussed later. This open letter of Introduction/Announcement is for expressing my personal motivation for seeking the Chairmanship of the United States Libertarian Party. And after providing a general, but very clearly reasoned, outline of what I would do in such a position, I hope to gain your endorsement and financial support so that I can spread this message to as many as possible, inside and outside the libertarian movement.

Over the years, I have been a witness, and often a party to many "discussions" that have occupied libertarians for as long as I have been involved. I have no hesitation making my positions clear on each of them, but find the reasoning process far more informative in an effort to seek your support, whether you share my conclusion or not.

The first example of dissenting opinions among Libertarians in Convention that surprised me was the issue of 'The Pledge'. Please allow me to explain...

My political activism prior to meeting libertarians was devoted to the injustices of the Arizona Election Laws because I felt at the time that all of government's power to harm was due to their elimination of any worthy competition before it could ever be a threat. As our investment in the future, my wife Donna and I made the calm decision to challenge all of the Election Laws that we felt violated the US Constitution. Over 44 Arizona election laws were challenged all the way to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A great deal was learned and many friends were made in the process. Other law suits would follow and the battle which would last a lifetime was engaged. During the first three-year period of education and action I would come to know that libertarians were the only ones who truly understood what I was doing and why. I was lucky to have met these very principled libertarian freedom fighters. The more I learned about libertarian philosophy the more I came to understand how moral their philosophy was.

While I felt no need to join the National Party, I was clearly libertarian to all who knew the difference and was welcomed into the Libertarian Party in Arizona. I immediately understood the purpose of "The Pledge" and eventually joined the LPUS before attending the 1996 Convention in Washington, D.C. While I have no personal investment either way in the Pledge argument, I do see an advantage to having a "Statists are not Welcome" sign at the front door of the Libertarian Party. In fact it was at the 1996 Libertarian Party convention that the Pledge became very useful. Less than a week before the convention, the "Viper Militia" story broke in Arizona when the Janet Reno and the Clinton administration arrested over a dozen people claiming all sorts of illegal activity that would send many to jail. Even though the media would later admit they were lied to and that the arrests were a propaganda stunt more than anything else, the focus was on the two arrested registered Libertarians until officers at the Washington convention were able to make clear in every media interview how national party membership required a pledge to the non-initiation of force..."oh, well then, never mind". It was made clear at the convention in 1996 that it was this very reason in the early '70's which prompted the creation of the pledge. But this experience has little to do with my concerns about the effort to eliminate the Pledge.

The most vocal argument over the years is that the pledge is responsible for the loss of potential membership from those who find it too restricting, open to interpretation, anarchist, etc. I am much more concerned about the LP becoming hypocritical in their support of the libertarian principles behind the intent of the pledge than I am the retention of the Pledge. So while I support the retention of the Pledge, you'll find me instead spending my time and effort on support of what the Pledge was suppose to accomplish, a welcome haven and resource nexus for those supportive of promoting no-compromise libertarian principles.

This brings us to the purpose of the LPUS. "We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual." It was this first sentence of the "Statement of Principles" that was the most inviting to an activist who had lost any tolerance for subtlety in his effort to make his position clear. (On a side note: I have noticed that many in opposition to the Pledge are also in opposition to this portion of the Statement of Principles.)

The volume of the cry to remove anything that might be considered offensive to members of other parties are often accompanied with statements about how 'the Libertarian Party is after all a political party, and political parties are in existence to elect individuals to public office so that public policy can be altered.'

I could spend a great deal of time in this introduction on missed opportunities, advocate a focus on the strengths of libertarian philosophy, and wonder aloud about "Where in the hell is the Libertarian Party in their 'challenge of the omnipotent state and defense of the individual' when everything we have been warning the world about is currently happening all around us," but right now I want to stress how concerned I am about the trend these three issues represent. The sustained campaign to oppose statements that clearly set libertarians apart from the philosophies which support the "omnipotent state" must be clearly challenged. The idea that votes are more important than freeing the minds of the people who would freely support us when we demonstrate that we seek freedom above recognition is counterproductive to all we hope to accomplish.

I hope you now understand my motivation for seeking the Chairmanship of the National Libertarian Party. As the campaign develops I am excited about sharing my ideas. But our party structure (when followed) does not allow for unilateral control, even from the National Committee. I can be counted on to follow the contract the Party has with its Members (its Platform and By-laws) and not deviate for a moment from libertarian principles. It is my hope that support for this campaign is a clear demonstration for the desire to lead in the national political debate with the most powerful and moral philosophy yet developed for human interaction.

We are closer than we have ever been in our lifetimes to the time when being libertarian will be a minimum requirement for political support from the majority of Americans.

Now is not the time to be less libertarian ... Now is the time to be clearly libertarian.

"Freedom's the Answer, ...What's the Question?"

The Libertarian Party was once well known as the head of the spear on the very issues that now dominate the national press, yet we are not included in the national debate. Not only do I intend to use this campaign for the Chairmanship to demonstrate a desire and ability to place libertarian philosophy as a solution to the problems facing America into the minds of the people in America and the rest of the world, but to ask why it hasn't been done already.

If you don't know me personally, please ask someone who does and ask them if I have any doubt of what will be accomplished.

Want to know how? I guess you'll just have to keep paying attention.

Please email me with all of your questions and I will answer them all here in the open on this web site.

Ernest Hancock's John Hancock

Ernest Hancock

P.S.: For detailed positions on almost any issue, please search my Radio Archive by subject at www.ernesthancock.com/archive Also, several issues are addressed in published articles at www.ernesthancock.com/html/articles.html.

Here in Arizona, you might find my race for Secretary of State of interest at www.ernesthancock.com.

For a look at the Western Libertarian Alliance Newspaper distributed at the 2004 Atlanta Convention, see westernlibertarian.org.

For daily updates of the news from a libertarian perspective, visit www.FreedomsPhoenix.com

And for reading this far, here's a special treat—The 1980 Oscar Winning Documentary—"Karl Hess—Toward Liberty" 26 mins.—www.westernlibertarian.org/TowardLiberty

Please support my effort to make use of the great strength of the Libertarian Party to lead the Revolution between the ears of the people and to prepare an ass kicking foundation for a 2008 presidential election cycle that will ignite the imagination of an entire generation.

Hey Ken:

Here's a preview of a movie, V for Vendetta, libertarians will be interested in:


I haven't read the graphic novel upon which the movie is based, but I understand that it is supposed to set in a contemporary distopia and is supposed to have some strong libertarian themes.

It sounds like it is similar to Vin's The Black Arrow novel.

James J Odle

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