Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 435, September 16, 2007

"Electoral politics has failed."

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Letter from Kevin Van Horn

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Curt Howland

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from John Taylor

Letter from Brett Middleton

Another Letter from John Taylor

Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez

L. Neil Smith wrote (in TLE 434),

"Hell, it was a National Guard unit that supplied the armored vehicles at Waco—I have not displayed or saluted the flag since it flew from their antennas."

I had a similar experience. After Waco, that flag lost all remaining sentiment I had for it. I was a graduate student at BYU at the time, where they played "The Star-Spangled Banner" over the loudspeakers every morning, and everyone was expected to stop and salute the flag. It made for some uncomfortable moments when I continued walking wherever I was going without paying any respect to that blood-soaked banner.

The following lyrics express some of these sentiments in verse three ("Now for ten years.  ."). I wrote these lyrics shortly after the 9-11 attacks, and they link the loss of liberties following 9-11 with the loss of liberties following the Waco massacre and Oklahoma City bombing. (Although I'm a market anarchist myself, these lyrics were written for a minarchist audience.)

A Farewell to Freedom

(Sung to the tune of "American Pie", by Don McLean, but with fewer verses.)

A long, long time ago.  .
Who can still remember
That sweet music, hearing freedom ring?
And with our minds and hands unchained,
Our tongues unbound, our wealth undrained,
We were sure we could accomplish anything.
But well-dressed thugs with tongues of silver
Our sacred rights began to pilfer.
The Constitution weakened;
Each year its outlook bleakened.
So as I watched each plane collide
And that cloud of death spread far and wide,
I knew the end had now arrived,
The day that freedom died.

So bye, bye, Lady Liberty sighs,
You made your free state a police state
That I can't recognize.
Well, you sold your soul
For empty slogans and lies,
Now I'm weeping while America dies,
Weeping while America dies.

Did you read the Bill of Rights?
Did it keep you tossing, turning nights,
Loathing how it stayed your hand?
Is your fondest dream complete control,
Does power lust consume your soul,
Do you seek dominion over every land?
As you search our bags and grope our wives,
In a thousand ways demean our lives,
Your end is clear to see:
Operation Enduring Tyranny!
We were a scattered, idealistic band,
Against the iron fist fought the invisible hand,
And we knew this was our last stand
The day that freedom died.

We started singin'—

Bye, bye, Lady Liberty sighs,
You made your free state a police state
That I can't recognize.
Well, you sold your soul
For empty slogans and lies,
Now I'm weeping while America dies,
Weeping while America dies.

Now for ten years Waco's smoldered on,
And the flag flies, but the feeling's gone;
It's not like it used to be.
Janet Reno's boots over Texas trod
With a gamebook borrowed from de Sade,
Bringing death to those who would be free.
Oh, and once the press was far away,
Her firebugs came out to play;
Above the smoking dead
They raised Old Glory overhead!
And while Congress took a page from Marx
New fire sprang from Waco's sparks,
Its choking smoke still billowed dark
The day that freedom died.

The children screamin'.  .

Bye, bye, Lady Liberty sighs,
You made your free state a police state
That I can't recognize.
Well, you sold your soul
For empty slogans and lies,
Now I'm weeping while America dies,
Weeping while America dies.

I saw the old red white and blue,
And I wondered what had happened to
The land of the free, home of the brave.
I thought of those who'd fought and died
For liberty, then softly cried
As they laid the Constitution in her grave.
Now through the land a cold wind blows
As tyrants rise and darkness grows.
Resistance is but token;
The liberty bell broken.
Where are those valiant patriots who
Will the torch of freedom light anew,
Save our republic, and undo
The day that freedom died?

'Til then I'm singin'.  .

Bye, bye, Lady Liberty sighs,
You made your free state a police state
That I can't recognize.
Well, you sold your soul
For empty slogans and lies,
Now I'm weeping while America dies,
Weeping while America dies.

Hear me grievin',

Bye, bye, Lady Liberty sighs,
You made your free state a police state
That I can't recognize.
Well, you sold your soul
For empty slogans and lies,
Now I'm weeping while America dies.

Kevin Van Horn

In an earlier letter I listed criteria for candidates to support for fedral office in 2008.

I add the following:

Will outlaw the use of civil forfeiture. In civil forfeiture (for those who do not know) agents of the state may confiscae money that may have been generated by transporting and selling contraband and vehicle used to do same. They do not have to prove that these are actually illegally gained funds or vehicles used to move contraband, they only have to say they may have been. They don't even have to charge you with a crime, let alone convict you of one.Of course, if you can prove you did not get the money or use the vehicle illegally they will return it to you. after you've lost time, posted bonds, and run up court and lawyers' costs.

Will not use war on terror as excuse to violate/ restrict civil liberties.

If (s)he finds it necessary to continue the fillibuster in Iraq (there's always the possibility that the CIA is providing him with info denied us "mere mortals") he will provide us with realistic estimates of the costs in time, blood, and money of continuing this course. The Bush policy of low balling these costs has led to debate that has distracted Congress from pursuing policies that will strengthen our freedom. OK, so Congress never had any intention of strengthening our freedom, but there is no point in giving them excuses.

Will return any property that was leased for the duration of WWII to its owners. WWII is over. As late as the mid 70's ranches aroung White Sands Missile Range that were so leased had not yet been returned. This issue has become conspicuously absent from the media spotlight. OK, it may be moot by now, but it is a glaring violation of the 3rd Amendment, or would be if anyone was looking.

This would serve as notice to federal agencies to not fuck with the Constitution, to be blunt

A.X. Perez

Dear Editor,

In Letters, TLE#434, El Neil discusses the Star Trek "replicators" as the ultimate "wishing will make it so" machine. So very true.

However, there economics of such a system does not have to be one of speculation. Right now, I am typing on just such a "wishing will make it so" system: A Linux computer.

As El Neil points out, the infrastructure isn't gratis. The computer hardware, the power to run it, the network, all have a price. But indeed I can just select what I want, download, install and run, be it game or office suite.

It is indeed an economy without scarcity, where those who invent new and better replicator patterns (programs) are rewarded with renown, something that has been the goal of heroes since before Beowulf.

Anyone who still hasn't tried out a Free and Open Source System can do so any time they want to. Gratis. Just boot the CD, you won't lose any data. Reboot again, and it's back to whatever is already installed. Your pocket replicator at work.

Curt Howland

Excuse me for waxing philosophical but the furniture and car are done so.  .

To me the greatest values are freedom, courage, love, and God's grace (if you are a believer). While I am sure many of you may place other values higher (for example, atheists claim God's grace is illusory) these values are up there for most of us.

To socialists (and other despots) things of great value must be rationed through the state. The greater the value the smaller the ration.

The value of courage, liberty, love and grace approach infinity, at least to me. To my despotic alter ego the ration given people must therefor appoach zero.

I really really don't care for my despotic alter ego.

Hey. this old guitar needs waxing and I got a couple of jokes to polish up. Catch y'all later.

A.X. Perez

Dear Ken,

There are some good things about getting states into the gun business as AX Perez suggests. For example:

1. They won't know anything about guns, so there may be more good deals available.

2. It's one giant step closer to home, so it's one order of magnitude easier to control. (No thanks to the stinkin' Federalist John Marshall and Marbury v. Madison )

3. It would drive the BATFE out of business, and force their multi-minions to find gainful employment elsewhere.

4. It would drive nearly everyone in New York, Massachusetts, Chicago, and Kalifornia absolutely bonkers (and that can only be a good thing.)

John Taylor

P.S. Please don't send me e-mails stating (1) reasons why it's a bad idea, or (2) accusing me of being a bad libertarian. Because that means you don't know me.)

Dear Editor,

I don't know how many of your readers enjoy computer games, but the recently-released "BioShock", published by 2K Games, has a rather unusual story that would appeal to a libertarian audience. I think it is worth a look, even for those who don't enjoy games or don't enjoy the first-person-shooter type of game. The story was inspired by the writings of Ayn Rand, particularly "Atlas Shrugged", and is set in the city of Rapture—an undersea Galt's Gulch built just after WWII. Wikipedia has a more complete description of the story at

The game has become a runaway hit, and is exposing a large number of young people to objectivist and libertarian ideas. Some are taking home the wrong lessons, however, and there is a great educational opportunity here. Here is a sample of the wrongness taken from a debate I've been having on the game's official forums:

Someone wrote:
> This inherent greed in everyone will always force one stronger
> influence to dominate. In any market economy with no controls in
> place, It will always wind up with one or two major leaders who will
> monopolize because it serves their self.
> This is apparent even in the states today. Look at microsoft. While
> there were some altruist idea's behind bill gates creation of
> Windows and MS DOS to better the computer industry, in teh end it
> created near dominance and monopoly. Without government
> interference, Microsoft's and Bill's sense of "Self" would probably
> have crushed everyone else and the world would be on Microsoft
> exclusively.
> Look at every major product, and this is apparent. Gas companies are
> near monopolistic. Even the grocery stores are slowly being turned
> to Walmarts.
> I think this game is a good show that a completely free Market
> economy with no controls will forever ruin society. Creating
> disparaging class differences and monopolistic controls by the
> industry. Government's intervention to stabilize the system and level
> the playing field isn't always a bad thing, as long as they
> themselves do not use their power to create self interest monopolies
> of control.

As you can see, the number of misconceptions in this short post is rather staggering. The forums could use a few more people with the proper viewpoint to counter such assertions. Though, as I had previously pointed out to this poster, the reason for the disaster seen in the game is that the economy was NOT completely free-market. There was one major exception that provided the wedge by which Rapture was brought down.

By the way, thanks for adding the navigation controls at the top of each article.

Brett Middleton

Re: "Another Letter from L. Neil Smith"

John Scirica wrote:

. . .<< Do you actually believe that America's armies of the past never committed atrocities or tortured prisoners? If you do Neil.............. You are very very misinformed. Regardless.......... Our armed forces have always been "above the rest" and today are still better and more humanitarian than ever. I speak from experience.......... Do you.

I hope you continue to write and inform us on the NRA issues and that you stop making "drive by" comments about our forces.>>

Wow! Talk about speaking out of school!

John Taylor

Re: Tim Butler's letter and L. Neil Smith's response

I spent a week thinking about this.

When I first saw a Star Trek NG episode saying that the Federation had a money free economy my first reaction was "Dang! This society is so wealthy that it's cheaper to just give stuff away than to do the book keeping of settting a monetary price!"

Only a totally free (Both politically and econmically) society can create so much wealth.

Capitalism works, it may even be able to make socialism's promise come true.

Armed citizens create safe societies. Successful capitalists can and do give away goods and services.

Free people create organized, orderly societies.

Tyranny makes promises. Liberty delivers.

Cool, huh?

A.X. Perez

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