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L. Neil Smith's
Number 414, April 22, 2007

That Stupid Git

Letters to the Editor

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Part One
Letters about "Immigration and Integrity"

Letter from Kent Van Cleave

Reading El Neil's "Immigration and Integrity" this morning gave me a sense of deja vu. Like Neil, I often experience frustration with self-proclaimed libertarians who oppose illegal immigration. That's why TLE ran my article, "Settling the Immigration Debate", in early 2002. While I, too, discussed Karen DeCoster and Steve Kubby as opponents in the debate, and mentioned many things Neil brought up this time, I also took a stab at understanding why otherwise freedom-minded people would take an anti-illegal-immigration stance. I suspect they believe America's welfare state is practically unassailable, so they oppose things that would cause government to inflict further insult on Americans—such as illegal immigration by aliens lured by the bait of free goodies.

By way of encouragement, though, I offered reasons to believe that even the welfare state is vulnerable if libertarians take the right approach: insistent, relentless moral opprobrium of those who would use violence as a tool for social engineering. So I recommend this article as a companion to Neil's—especially for new readers who weren't around here in 2002.

Kent Van Cleave

Dear Ed,

In reference to El Neil's article on immigration, one source of Spanish language Libertarian materials is the Future of Freedom Foundation, the head of which, Jacob Hornberger, is a Spanish speaker himself. Unfortunately, it will take someone more fluent in the Lingua Espania than I to figure out what materials might be best used for first-contact situations.

His article on his own trip to Cuba is quite interesting.

Having read their monthly newsletter "Freeom Daily" for about 10 years now, I can say that while the individual writers demonstrate differing personal opinions, their principles have remained quite consistant.

Living near NYC for many years, I can recommend "The Disastrous World of the New York Subway" as a great set of articles.

Curt Howland

If you want to get a handle on immigration come to El Paso, Texas. Go to the Porfirio Diaz exit (Eastbound) of I-10. You will look down on the El Paso Rail yards, Paisano Street (Which connects to major roads into the rest of Texas and New Mexico) and the Rio Grande. Back before 1991 if you went in the morning you could see a guy ferrying people across the river in an orange liferaft, then the Border Patrol started Operation hold the line. The Ferry went out of business. The point is once you're in El Paso or any of our other border towns this country is pretty much wide open.

Both bad and good people come across the river. Once they're in El Paso many try to get further into the US. Which is one of the reasons why there are inspection stations about fifty miles out of town where you are asked (admittedly at random) to show ID that you are an American. Currently drivers' licenses are good enough.

In 2008 people returning from Mexico to the US will be required to show their passports. With all the concern about border security someone is going to figure out how easy it is for someone who gets into El Paso from Juarez in spite of this new requirement. Some bureaucrat will come up with the bright idea of requiring passports to board a bus, train, or plane to go further into the US or to get past the checkpoints. Then someone will figure out that using gravel back roads can get people past the check points to pick up points on I-10, I-54, etc.. So more (dodgeable) check points will be set up to catch them. People of Bantu ancestry from South Africa traveling in America will have attacks of Deja vu, as will citizens of the former USSR and surviving victims of Nazi oppression. Any real terrorists, people smuggling illegal aliens to what amounts to slave labor, and other persons coming in for nefarious purposes (always wanted to use that phrase) will figure out how to dodge this network of check points. You and I will be hassled.

Supposedly this will protect us somehow.

Albert Perez

THANK YOU for putting together and expressing my thoughts on "libertarians" and immigration better than I could. I sent this article to "Digg It" and will be sending links to it in the fora where it is most needed.

Scott Bieser
my blog:
my Cafe Press store:

You said:

"(Some of them also want . . . the mentally retarded to vote, too.)"

That's been going on in New York State for decades—someone decided that you have a fundamental right to vote so long as you're not a convicted felon, and it doesn't matter that your gray matter is woefully insufficient. Bev works with the developmentally disabled, and has seen this first hand. They'll come to the polls en masse from the group home, and one of their "keepers" will take them individually into the voting booth. (Who's actually doing the voting, you may ask??)

Thomas A. Olson

Dear Neil,

Thank you once more for calling would-be libertarians to their senses and reminding them of what it means to be a libertarian in the first place.

Kevin Van Horn

Thought you might enjoy a few salient points and one technical criticism of "Immigration & Integrity."

First the crit: The link to DeCoster's archive doesn't have the actual title of the article. It itself can be found here. [This has been fixed—Editor]

Second, one of the best arguments against border controls, curiously enough, comes from Rothbard himself. Considering those who parrot his mannerisms (don't know if those he used them against deserved them, I doubt it) seem to be fans of his work, they'd be aware of it; Chapter 3, Appendix B of Power & Market. I have the big volume (Scholar's Edition) right here in my hands.

I quote:

(Power & Market: Chapter 3—Triangular Intervention, App. B, pp. 1146-47 of the 'Scholar's Edition')

Tariffs and immigration barriers as a cause of war may be thought far afield from our study, but actually this relationship may be analyzed praxeologically. A tariff imposed by Government A prevents an exporter residing under Government B from making a sale. Furthermore, an immigration barrier imposed by Government A prevents a resident of B from migrating.

Both of these impositions are effected by coercion. Tariffs as a prelude to war have often been discussed; less understood is the *Lebensraum* argument. "Overpopulation" of one particular country (insofar as it is not the result of a voluntary choice to remain in the homeland at the cost of a lower standard of living) is always the result of an immigration barrier imposed by another country. It may be thought that this barrier is purely a "domestic" one. But is it? By what right does the government of a territory proclaim the power to keep other people away? Under a purely free-market system, only individual property owners have the right to keep people off their property. The government's power rests on the implicit assumption that the government *owns* all the territory that it rules. Only then can the government keep people out of that territory.

Caught in an insoluble contradiction are those believers in the free market and private property who still uphold immigration barriers. They can do so only if they concede that the State is the owner of all property, but in that case they cannot have true private property in that system at all. In a truly free-market system, such as we have outlined above, only first cultivators would have title to unowned property; property that has never been used would remain unowned until someone used it. At present, the State owns all unused property, but it is clear that this is conquest incompatible with the free market. In a truly free market, for example, it would be inconceivable that an Australian agency could arise, laying claim to "ownership" over the vast tracts of unused land on that continent and using force to prevent people from other areas from entering and cultivating that land. It would also be inconceivable that a State could keep people from other areas out of property that the "domestic" property owner wishes them to use. No one but the individual property owner himself would have sovereignty over a piece of property.

End quote.

That second paragraph is especially terrific. Hoppe fell (or dove) right into that trap. So too, I believe, did Kinsella. Block didn't. Then again, I've never actually seen Block screw it up, including that time he actually got mad in print and tore into Kevin Carson.

You're a more consistent Rothbardian than is Miss De Coster. They're more consistent Randians than you are. It's quite funny really, because they don't appreciate Rand while you do and you refuse to see Rothbard as anything other than a human being while I suspect they're guilty of cultishness. The funny thing here is that he himself accused this kind of sectarianism as being leftist. Who knows, give it time and it may bear itself out that he was right? Perhaps all methodological collectivism is leftist by nature? I think Block is right; the schmodals are much nastier, the modals were just plain creepy in their reasoning, but the rightists are absolutely deadly. They're the guy who's just figured out where all the stakes holding up the tent rest, and his joe-boys will pull them all out if they don't get their way. They are very good at cloaking nearly fascist sophistry in libertarian rhetoric.

Brian Nickerson

Dear Editor,

Neil Smith's article on immigration was a breath of fresh air, and a great time saver. I was about to delve into the Cox essay myself.

Neil writes of steps to take, and I believe some of them are already accomplished.

"The first step: create an institution. a foundation the purpose of which would be to write down those things that we wish immigrants—and those of us who were born here, for that matter—would learn, the ideas that made America different from any other civilization in history."

I believe that a good institution of this sort, which I've participated in since 2000 in various ways, is the International Society for Individual Liberty. Their web site is

Two impressive works they help spread around the world are the introduction to the philosophy of liberty: put together by Kerry Pearson and Ken Schoolland, and Ken's own book, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.

"The second step: translate those ideas into the languages of those who come here, legally or illegally. The first language to tackle, of course, is Spanish, but there are others, notably Vietnamese and Arabic."

The introduction to the philosophy of liberty has been translated into Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, French, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian—so far!

The Adventures. . . has been translated into a much larger number of languages: Albanian, Asia Indian English, Bosniak, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Esperanto, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Nigerian Pidgin English, Kiswahili, Korean, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Montenegran, Norwegian, Palauan, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Romany - Gypsy, Russian, Serbian, Sinahala, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Urdu, and Visayan.

"The third step: render those translated ideas into whatever media—print, audio, video—work best to convey them to the desired recipients."

There are books and a DVD available now.

"The fourth step: get them to the people who need to see them, via books, magazines, newspapers, posters, radio, television, and the Internet."

Here, a great deal more work might be done. ISIL can always use help. I think taking on a project of distributing freedom literature would be great for many of my other projects—FSW NC, FSW WY, and the new store in Texas— I'll work on it. (All y'all reading this letter should, too.)

"The fifth step: follow through with classes (actual and virtual), interviews, and constant effort to modify and refresh the material as needed."

Quite. Every year ISIL has a world conference. This year they are holding theirs in Virginia. It is a great opportunity to meet people from around the world, most of whom no longer have the "if we only convince the majority of voters" condition, and are actually finding ways to make the world more free, more often.


Jim Davidson

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Part Two
Letters about the Virginia Tech Shooting

Another Letter from Albert Perez

By now the proponents and opponents of gun control will be trotting out the same arguments they used up four massacres ago. The fact is the shooter had been identified and temporarily institutionalized as being inclined to violence and not fully responsible for his behavior. The fact is that due to policies aimed at protecting people's privacy he was not listed in the appropriate Instacheck database to be blocked from buying firearms.

While I do not agree with most of the existing restrictions on the purchase of firearms (how many hoops should a nonviolent felon have to jump through to have his gun rights restored, for example?) the fact is the shooter all but called the people in charge of the Instacheck data base and announced his intent to arm himself to violate people's rights.

Before you exchange arguments that have become as stale as king's pawn to king three please answer me the following:

Why should I trust proponents of gun control to write one more law when they can't be trusted to justly enforce existing law (The computer broke down the day of the Million Mom March, thus blocking gun sales but you let people like the VPU shooter through the cracks? Please.)?

What proposals do opponents of gun control have for dealing with that small minority who (Hopefully temporarily) need to be blocked from arming themselves because with probability approaching unity they wish to acquire weapons specifically to violate people's rights (Besides shooting them after they cut loose.)?

And what can we generalize from these solutions to protect our rights in other areas?

Because there are people out there who have and will use support of gun control as an excuse to junk the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Albert Perez

SAF Observes 232nd Anniversary of Lexington, Concord Battles

BELLEVUE, WA—Thursday, April 19 marks the 232nd anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord that started the American Revolution with the "Shot Heard Round the World," and the Second Amendment Foundation notes that the aftermath of this week's events in Virginia clearly show that European animosity toward our right to keep and bear arms still exists.

In the wake of the horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, noted SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb, European media—and particularly the BBC—has bared its visceral disdain toward America's Second Amendment and the traditions of liberty and independence it represents and protects.

"Clearly," Gottlieb said following three days of combative day and night interviews and debates primarily conducted by BBC reporters and commentators, "there remains to this day a horrible, condescending attitude toward armed American citizens. Haven't the British yet gotten over the fact that a ragtag, often disorganized force of American colonials, wielding their own arms, was able to defeat what at the time was the most powerful armed force in the world?

"Our forefathers," he continued, "armed with their own flintlock rifles and pistols, and an assortment of muskets—the 'assault weapons' of their era—threw off the yoke of oppression under which they were forced to live. When British broadcasters today demand to know just what it is about gun ownership that Americans defend so vigorously, the answer is too simple for them to comprehend. Simply put, we defend this individual civil right because without our own guns two centuries ago, we would still likely be saluting a king instead of electing a president. We would likely be British subjects instead of electing our own Congress and state legislatures.

"We know our system isn't perfect," Gottlieb observed. "But America's freedom and liberty are second to none. Otherwise, people would be waiting in line to leave instead of sneaking across borders to get in. April 19, 1775 gave us that, and the Second Amendment protects it. And just so the BBC and other European media aren't misled, we're not giving it up."

Please e-mail, distribute, and circulate to friends and family

Copyright © 2007 Second Amendment Foundation, All Rights Reserved.

Second Amendment Foundation


Right on! I noticed Ms. Lucinda Roy today on the "Good Morning America" show lamenting the tragedy and hoping more laws would be enacted to prevent these situations.

Well, there are laws that already prevent possession of firearms on campus. Cho paid them no mind.

Do you remember the Appalachian Law School incident a few years ago? Two students retrieved guns and stopped that guy!

The Texas Clock Tower shooting from 1966 was stopped by a cop and a civilian on the scene, not a SWAT team.

Two laws from Christ:

(1) Love God with everything you have.

(2) Love your neighbor as yourself.

For the non-religious and those without any self love and/or self-respect (like Cho), try these four laws on for size.

(1) Do not harm another sentient being.

(2) Do not damage another being's property.

(3) Speak the truth.

(4) Honor your contract.

What else would society need? All the legal beagles and other parasites would be out of work!

How refreshing!


Marcus Belcher


I don't care if you publish this letter ot not. I'm sending it to you because yours was the only e-mail address I could find on your site (a serious mistake, by the way).

There are two problems with the poll that currently appears there. The first is that requiring people to be licensed—to obtain government pertmission—before they are free to exercise their right to own and carry weapons is as contradictory to the Second Amendment as any other gun law.

The second problem is that the word "allowed" does not belong in any discussion about rights. Where your rights and mine are concerned, there is no "allow", because there's nobody who has the moral or Constitutional authority to allow or deny their free exercise.

Until people on our side of the issue begin to understand these two points, we will continue to lose battle after battle until we have lost the war.

L. Neil Smith

To the Editor:

The tragedy of the massacre of 32 students at the university in Virginia will no doubt generate a hue and cry about "the gun culture" in the United States and strident demands for more "gun control" laws.

What we need to ask ourselves is THIS question: 'Why was the gunman who killed all those people the ONLY one to have a weapon?' The university rule banning possession of weapons provided ABSOLUTE insurance that the killer would be the ONLY person who would be armed. The murder proceeded in TOTAL confidence that he could indulge in his slaughter of the innocents in absolute safety because he would be the ONLY person on the entire campus (save for the police—who were conspicuous by their complete ABSENCE) who would be armed.

"Gun control" is about CONTROL—period. "Gun Control" leaves the individual at the mercy of the State, not just armed thugs or psychotics. Did you know that the 1968 Gun Control Act was word-for-word IDENTICAL to the "gun control" laws of Nazi Germany!? They are—and you can easily confirm it!

So, once the New World Order manages to abolish the "gun culture", the massacres will soon begin once more—the organs of State Security killing the 'politically incorrect', 'the useless eaters', and the rest of those judged undesirable by the BRAVE NEW WORLD Order.


Marc V. Ridenour

Do you think they're proud?

On 16 April 2007, the worst mass shooting in American history took place. Over 30 people killed and at least dozen wounded. The shooter has been named as a 23 year old South Korean who immigrated to the US in 1992 with his parents. A resident alien who, according to the Chicago Tribune, as quoted in World Net Daily, was taking or had taken medications for depression and "had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior". Why am I not surprised, that at the end of the shootings he was "found dead yesterday by authorities from apparently self-inflicted wounds".

Now, of course, we are again hearing the rants of how we need more gun control. Yet what is not being publicized is how this is a gun control success. How, you ask, is this a success? All of the other students were obeying Virginia's law prohibiting firearms on campus. A bill to change that law, House Bill 1572, was initiated by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, a bill that would have given qualified college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus. A bill recognizing their right to self-defense. Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker, Associate Vice President University Relations, was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

I surely hope the assembly and Mr. Hincker feel proud of their success at keeping guns off campus.

Dennis Kabaczy

Alert from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
America's Aggressive Civil Rights Organization

April 19, 2007

JPFO Alert: Patriots, Politicians and Guns

"Any politician who won't trust you with the weapon of your choice clearly cannot be trusted with the power he desires over your life."—Alexander Hope in the novel Hope.

Today is April 19, also known as Patriots' Day in New England. On this day in 1775, the "shot heard 'round the world" took place at Lexington, as colonists defended their firearms from British confiscation.

Nearly two centuries later on this date, Nazi troops entered the Warsaw Ghetto to anniliate the Jews interred there. This spurred an uprising by the armed Jews that held off the German army for nearly a month. (you can read about the uprising in the words of SS Brigadefuhrer Jurgen Stroop—who commanded the Nazi operation—at

Today is quietly dramatic in its own way. KnoxNews reports that the Tennesse legislature voted to repeal a state law that forbids the carrying of handguns on government property. Tennessee "gets" the Second Amendment. It's about the right to protect yourself without restriction.

And any politician who doesn't understand that simply can't be trusted.

The Liberty Crew

LET JPFO KEEP YOU INFORMED—Sign up today for JPFO Alerts! Just send a blank e-mail to To unsubscribe, send a blank email to

Regain your freedom—download the song "Justice Day" today!

Original Material in JPFO ALERTS is Copyright 2006 JPFO, Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this alert in full, so long as the following JPFO contact information is included:

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
PO Box 270143
Hartford, Wisconsin 53027

Part Three
Letters about Other Topics

Another Letter from Jim Davidson

Dear Editor,

George Gori writes, in part, "The American Revolution was an earth shattering event which, like it's predecessor, the French, sent shockwaves throughout the world and into the hearts of elites."

He's right in his broad statements. Indeed, the American Revolution was a triumph. The event of 19 April 1775 was a shot heard 'round the world, and the utter rout of the agents of tyranny in their long, bloody flight from Concord back to Boston. Many Bostonian suburbanites now live over the trail of blood shed by redcoats fleeing from an outraged, free people.

Unlike the English Civil War of 1642-51 which preceded it, and the French Revolution of 1789-99 which followed it, the American Revolution did not cause the blood of any tyrant to be shed. Yet, in many ways, it was more remarkable than either of those two, for all that it didn't finish the work of exterminating the line of Hanover tyrants.

The American Revolutionaries—Patrick Henry, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Otis, Sam Adams, and many more—were libertarian purists. I think it says a great deal that George finds here in the pages of The Libertarian Enterprise a similar commitment to freedom.

And for starting these shockwaves, I would like to give a tip of the hat to our publisher, Neil Smith, whose books and essays have been a stimulating commitment to individual liberty. Another tip of the hat to our editor, Ken Holder, for his tireless work in bringing out a new issue week after week. Thanks guys!


Jim Davidson

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