Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 439, October 14, 2007

"Yet another good reason to avoid world government."

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And Sow Salt on the Ruins
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

When I was a kid, about a thousand years ago, I made a terrible vow never to forget what it was like, having your life—your body, your belongings, everything about you—controlled by another human being. That, more than anything else, is probably what made me a libertarian.

I've always been deeply concerned with the rights of children. In the 70s I wrote a Childrens' Rights plank for the national Libertarian Party platform that was considered by many a chicken-hearted would-be politico to be too controversial, too radical, too embarrassing. First chance they got, they carved it out with a dull-edged knife (not being very sharp, themselves), leaving a bleeding, gaping wound in the LP's integrity.

And this was long before the more recent Portland rape of the platform.

What that plank said (you'll never believe it was party founder David F. Nolan who helped me push it through on the convention floor) was that children have all the rights—especially as laid out in the rest of the platform—possessed by anybody else, and the fact that they may have problems exercising their rights wisely, now and again, in no way separates them from adults, who often have exactly the same problem.

Of course the petty tyrants of the public education establishment wholeheartedly (or wholeorganedly of some kind) agree with the LINOs and faux libertarians who excised the Childrens' Rights plank. It was bad enough when these worthless bureaucratic drones and wasters began searching the persons and private property of those individuals so unwisely placed under their oppressive thumbs. It became vastly worse when this illegitimate power was extended to search students' cars.

Now, according to something I saw on TV this morning, the kiddie Kommissars have started seizing their captives' cell phones, so they can read and "log" (and place in the kids' "permanent record") text messages that might reveal whether said kids are smoking (gasp!) or seeking some other pitiable way, physical or otherwise, of evading, if even for a precious moment, these ever-present dealers of intellectual and spiritual death. Of course the ACLU is flailing its usual limp wrist at them, exclaiming in screeching falsetto, "Oh, don't do that, please?".

You might want to send Briggs Gamblin (, of the Boulder Valley School District, some e-mail about this, since he apparently approves of this savage invasion of individual rights and claims the school district's lawyers say it's perfectly legal. That may very well be—so does the Supreme Court—but it's also wrong.

It's conditioning yet another generation of Americans—who were once a proud, brave, resourceful folk who regarded "a little rebellion now and then" as a good thing—to resign themselves, uncomplainingly comply with the vile, sadistic police state that's grown up all around them. Self-evidently idiotic and blatantly unconstitutional school policies are the cause of atrocities like the Columbine High School massacre.

Educators who resent the impact that the current presidential administration has had on traditional American values, especially with regard to human and civil rights, very badly need to look in a mirror before they point a finger at others, no matter how deserving they may be. The public school establishment was a major contributor to the systematic Nazification of America long before George W. Bush came along. At present rates, they will continue being so long after he's gone.

Until, as I have written on many another occasion, we finally shut down all the government's mind-control mills (which increasingly have begun to resemble maximum security prisons) raze the buildings so that not a single stone remains standing on another, and sow salt on the ruins.

Aside from the supremacy of the Bill of Rights, and the necessity of adding a stringent penalty clause to it, I hereby declare, as an essential operating principle of the forthcoming International Bill of Rights Union, that the people we call children (especially those over the age of fifteen, who have been maintained in an artificial and unnecessary state of childhood) have exactly the same rights as anyone else.

I also declare that, like murder, crimes against the constitution have no statute of limitations (and never can, owing to the matter of conflicting interests involved). Those in the school system who smugly believe it's smart or cute to strip away childrens' rights for the sake of administrative convenience (or plain old sadistic pleasure) will someday face those former children in a jury box, possibly in a small town in Pennsylvania that will lend its name to the Nuremberg II tribunals.

And Mr. Briggs, his lawyers, and their ilk will have made it possible.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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