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L. Neil Smith's
Number 483, August 31, 2008

"Freedom is the basic necessity of life"

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Letter from Ward Griffiths

Letter from Ann Morgan

Letter from National Taxpayers Union

Letter from The Editor

Letter from Dr Sean Gabb

Letter from Robert Jackman

Re: "We Might As Well Face It, We're Addicted To War" by Doug Newman

> If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything begins
> to look like a nail.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything you hit turns out to be your thumb. (Anybody who has a problem with that, buy a bandsaw—you've got nine more digits).

Like Neil says, anybody in favor of war and in a position of delegated authority, put those assholes in front. Second line designated to shoot them in the balls or buttocks when (not if, when) they turn and run. Not the head, they don't deserve an easy death. That last is my words, not Neil's.

Ward Griffiths
wdg3rd -+at+-

Re: "Letter from Susan Callaway"

Susan Callaway wrote:

"Would you be willing to live in a society where a large group of people could legally have sex on the front lawn of the house that belonged to one of them, in full sight of a school of gradeschool children across the street, playing outside at their 2:00 recess?"

Ah, maybe you'd like to think about this just a little bit more... In such a free society, I'm not sure there would BE a "school of grade school children" anywhere.

Susan, this was a hypothetical example of the sort of behavior which, in a free society, might occur and not be legally prosecutable. The point of the example was the behavior in question, specifically, adults having sex in public where children could see them, not whether or not a given type of school, or any school, would exist in such a society.

What they would or could do about it is a good question, and government interference is not the only option by far. And what's this "legally?" That implies some conferred favor or permission by a government. You can't have it both ways.

"Legally" in this case means 'according to the law'. In any society, there is always going to be crime, and other disputes between individuals. If you want anything other than the 'anarchy' which our current politicians claim is synonymous with freedom, there is going to have to be a mechanism or government (or more than one) existing in that society, and accepted as valid by the vast majority of it's population, in order to settle such disputes, and assign punishments for crimes, on behalf of those individuals who are unable or unwilling to do so for themselves. If this government is not to be an arbitrary dictatorship, there is going to have to be a set of laws, applying to everyone, which it follows. So long as this government(s) does not initiate force, punishes ONLY those who have previously initiated force or fraud against someone, and does not grant special privileges to any person or group whereby they are able to get away with initiating force or fraud without fear of consequences, and the set of laws which exist in that society do not proscribe punishments for those who have not initiated force or fraud, their existence is not incompatible with a free society. So, when I say, it would be *legal* in a free society for a group of adults to engage in an orgy where others, including children could see them, what I mean is, that there is no law in that society dictating that they be forcibly stopped or punished (by force) for their activity, and that any person or group who DID use force to stop or punish them, would themselves, be subject to punishment of some kind.

I can't imagine any sane person wanting to make their most intimate and private emotions and actions a matter of a roadside exhibition, any more than they would any other personal function or private information.

Well, I'm more like Hans Solo: I can imagine a hell of a lot. As for 'other personal functions', you should know that in ancient Rome, people went to the toilet in groups, in full view of each other. An ancient Roman would no more think of going to a private walled off stall to go to the toilet, than we would think of going to a large room full of toilets, all in full view of each other. It is a mistake to assume that the particular set of customs and prejudices that happen to exist in our society, would necessarily exist in a hypothetical free society, or even a hypothetical non-free society existing several centuries in the future.

You might well be free to indulge in your little outdoor sex fest, but you would also be required to deal with the inevitable consequences.

If these consequences include beating me up, setting my house on fire, or otherwise initiating force against me, and this is legal (The law says you may do so or there are no consequences to you for doing so) it is not a free society. It is either an anarchy or a tyranny. However, there are OTHER consequences are compatible with a free society, such as being shunned or not given a job. In addition, people who do not wish to view a public orgy are free to use their feet and walk elsewhere, where they do not have to view it.

But you are quite correct when you say that most folks are not ready for true freedom, because that requires a strict combination of personal ownership AND responsibility for the consequences of that ownership. Are you?

I have no idea if I am ready for a free society or not. I do know that you have made one very large mistake in your reasoning, you have bought the brainwashing bit of the church and government that sex is BAD, the mere sight of it inherently immoral and harmful, and it necessarily needs to be kept out of the sight of children. This line of reasoning will inevitably lead you to a theocracy, whether you intend it to do so or not. Sex is a simply a normal biological act, dictated by our evolution. It is no more, nor less, nor otherwise immoral than breathing or eating. Your statements regarding it being 'private and intimate' are entirely subjective and unprovable (the fact that I myself might partially agree with that statement is not proof, btw). I will grant you that there are very good reasons why one should not have sex WITH children, in the same manner, that one should not feed steak to a baby without teeth. That said, it does not necessarily follow that merely seeing others have sex will cause a child harm any more than seeing others eat steak will cause a baby harm.

I should also point out that the current attitude in our society of sex being inherently immoral, is a very large part of how our current government keeps power over our society. If you doubt this, take a good look at the issues Socialist Party A and Socialist Party B are using to either divide our society, or gain more control over it. Abortion. Gay rights. Porn on the internet that 'the children' might see. It's all about sex. So long as you 'buy the premise' that sex is inherently immoral, so immoral that the use of force is justified in intervening in the sexual choices of others (whether this choice consists of gay sex in private, or straight sex in public, or anything else), you're inevitably going to 'buy the bit' of a tyrannical government.

Ann Morgan
septithol -+at+-

TLE and

Dear Friend,

2008 is a critical year for taxpayers.

In an effort to keep tax issues near the top of the news cycle, NTU has launched a website called We're asking citizens around the country to commit to not vote for tax hikers.

If an interested individual pledges to not vote for tax hikers on this website, we'll send them an "I Don't Vote for Tax Hikers" bumper sticker to proudly display on their car or in their home.

Here's where your blog comes in. You can help make a success by putting up a post or placing a graphic link on your website. HTML code for a graphic link is available at the bottom of the home page.

NTU is making a signature effort for this fall, and we're committing significant resources toward getting the word out about the site. We hope you'll join us in this effort.

Thank you,

Joshua M. Culling
State Government Affairs Manager
jculling -+at+-
National Taxpayers Union

Excerpt from a news item:

Aug 30, 11:56 AM EDT

Ron Paul followers gathering for own convention
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)—There's no room at the Xcel Energy Center for maverick Ron Paul, so his acolytes have packed their cars, hitched rides on "Ronvoys" and will pitch tents at Ronstock '08 in Minneapolis in defiance of next week's GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Almost 9,800 tickets had been sold for the Rally for the Republic, which seeks to bring together activists who are anti-war, anti-government regulation, anti-immigration, anti-taxes, anti-Federal Reserve, anti-outsourcing, pro-individual liberty, pro-civil liberties and pro-Paul.

Read the rest

Additional information:

Rally for The Republic:

Republican National Convention:

The Editor

Libertarian Alliance Prize Essay Announcement (1,000 pounds)


The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today announces the title for its 2008 Chris R. Tame Memorial Essay Prize competition.

This Prize is funded by a generous grant from The PROMIS Unit of Primary Care and is in honour of Chris R. Tame (1949-2006) Founder and first Director of the Libertarian Alliance. The Prize is worth £1000.

The essay title for 2008 is:

"Can a Libertarian Society be Described as 'Tesco minus the State'?"
Essay Length: 3,000 words excluding notes and bibliography
Submission Date: 10th October 2008

Explanatory Note

The purpose of this year's essay title is to draw wider attention to a debate that has been taking place within the libertarian movement for over a century, and that is now more relevant than ever: is big business really part of the free market in which libertarians believe? Or is it just the "third way" between free enterprise and socialism?

Many socialists and conservatives regard libertarians as cheerleaders for big business. Our belief in free enterprise is understood as support for the bigger, and therefore the more successful, corporations - General Motors, Microsoft, HSBC, Tesco, and so forth—and for an international financial system centred on the City of London.

Some libertarians are happy to be so regarded. They dislike the way in which big government provides opportunities for big business to acquire privileges that shelter it from competition. Even so, they believe that a world without government, or a world with much less government, would be broadly similar in its patterns of enterprise to the world that we now have. It would be much improved, but not fundamentally dissimilar.

Other libertarians disagree. They regard big business as fundamentally a creation of big government. Incorporation laws free entrepreneurs from personal risk and personal responsibility, and allow the growth of large business organisations that are bureaucratically managed. These organisations then cartellise their markets and externalise many of their costs. The result is systematic distortion of market behaviour from the forms it would take without government intervention. These libertarians often go further in their analysis by denying the legitimacy of intellectual property rights and ownership rights in land beyond what any individual can directly use.

Where do you stand in this debate? Are you broadly comfortable with a global capitalism that is raising billions of people from starvation towards affluence. Or are you a radical with a vision of a society that has never yet been tried and is as alien and even frightening to most people as anything promised by the Marxists.

The winner of the 2008 competition will be announced at the London conference of the Libertarian Alliance, on Saturday the 25th October at the National Liberal Club.

Full details of the Prize at

Full details of the Conference at

Dr Sean Gabb
sean -+at+-

This news release will also be placed on the Libertarian Alliance blog at

The Milgram Experiment

Long version. Google video

Also on YouTube

It seems people won't change and defy Authority unless they have heard of this experiment, first conducted in 1963.

Robert Jackman
juliusno1776 -+at+-

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