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L. Neil Smith's
Number 486, September 28, 2008

"We ought to show that we are serious about liberty."

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Letter from Ann Morgan

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Ward Griffiths

Letter from Darian Worden

Letter from Paul Bonneau

Letter from Robert Jackman

Dear Editor:

Re: "Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez"

I agree very strongly with the letter in the 9/21 Libertarian Enterprise by A.X. Perez, in which he states that in this country, he is free from prosecution with regards to a crucifix, regardless of whether he wears the crucifix openly, or privately, or does not wear one at all. He rightfully asserts that this same principal should also apply to weapons, and one should be free from prosecution whether one wears a weapon openly, concealed, or does not wear one at all. Neither should the type of religious symbol, or the type of weapon in question make any difference in this matter. You should be as free to wear (or not wear) a Hindu, Wiccan, or Satanic religious symbol as a Christian one, and you should be free to wear (or not wear) a knife, sword or a machine gun, as you are a revolver or semi-automatic handgun.

This is also, btw, precisely the point I have been trying to make in my letters of the past few weeks. This same principal also applies (despite the objections of some people) to human nudity and sexual behavior. People should be free to have their bodies naked, completely covered, or any ratio in between. They should also be free to have sex either privately, or where others can see them. I fail to see how this constitutes harm. Although an argument could be made that the creation or reflection (by lightbulbs, lasers or mirrors) of light greater than a particular intensity causes harm, either by damaging the human eyeball, or disturbing one's sleep; absent that, the mere *sight* of anything, be it a religious symbol, a weapon, a naked person, or people engaged in sexual behavior, cannot be realistically said to harm anyone, regardless of how many people might be personally or religiously offended by it. There is simply no mechanism by which the sight of any of the above, regardless of how offensive how many people might find it, can actually harm people, and laws forbidding it have no place in a free society.

Ann Morgan
septithol -+at+- yahoo -=dot=- com

Back around the winter of1979/80, or maybe '80/81, the Albuquerque police went on strike. It lasted exactly one day as the crime rate went down during the strike and the police didn't want the people of Albuquerque realizing they didn't need a PD.

The reduction in crime was not simply that fewer tickets were handed out for j-walking or such. Burglary, murder, armed robbery and so on went down also.

Apparently before the strike the people of Albuquerque had bought out all the guns in town and the criminals did not want to deal with an armed populace.

The police (and presumably the criminals) went back to work the next day, before people realized they weren't needed.

People waiting for the government to help them rebuild from Katrina in New Orleans (and other places) are still waiting. People who went in and started rebuilding on their own have rebuilt.

Statists use the excuse that government is necessary because there are certain jobs that won't get done otherwise. Maintaining law and order in Albuquerque and rebuilding New Orleans apparently aren't on that list of jobs. Maybeso it's time that we got started on a list of jobs that we don't need the state for after all.

Maybe this will give them time to do what they should be doing. i.e., protecting our freedom instead of trying to protect us out of our freedom. Maybeso they could cut taxes while they were at it, thus freeing more of our money to do things for ourselves instead of waiting for Big Brother to do it for us at twice the price and half as well.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs -+at+- hotmail -=dot=- com

Libertarians live by One Commandment. Thou shalt not initiate force.

Re: "The (libertarian) Ten Commandments" by C.K. Kahn

I have heard people with a conservative Christian outlook say that this country was founded on "Biblical Principles."

It wasn't, but several colonies during the previous century and a half were. The Separatists, Lord Baltimore and such.

I do accept Biblical principles in that those of the (Protestant) Ten Commandments which apply to relations between people...
6. Thou shalt not kill

A commandment G-D himself ignores. (ref Sodom and Gomorah). No libertarian will hesitate to kill in defense of self or others. The original Hebrew term translates as "murder", but the "chosen" translators of the KJV were sloppy. Like when they translated the term for "poisoner" into "witch".

8. Thou shalt not steal

Never met a church that didn't check your pockets before the funeral (and the tip jar/collection plate is available if you aren't dead yet) or any government that didn't put a gun to your head (or a sword to your throat in the olden days) to get your cash.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour

Notice the punishment that accusers of child abuse get after their neighbors are acquitted of any crime.

...are proscriptions against violence, theft and fraud. They are crimes against life, liberty and property and should either be punished or recompensed. These things are crimes, not because the Bible tells me so, but because they violate individual sovereignty. Had the Bible never been written they would still be crimes.

The others which are not specifically Godward...
5. Honour thy father and thy mother

You do it. I know/knew them. Dad is finally dead (the VA could only prop up his liver for so long) and less of a drain on the taxpayer, mom mumbles a lot not that she was ever the sharpest brick in the chandelier. (They hadn't been associated since I was eight, 1963, and dad finally crapped out in the early 90s—if I manage three more years, I'll have the record for longevity in anybody carrying my Y-chromosome).

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery

Lots more fun than infantry. I have committed that "sin" and probably will again. Whatever four or five people do behind closed doors are none of Jerry Falwell's, the government's or G-D's business. As long as all parties consent. (La Esposa has a boyfriend. I don't have a problem with that. Why should you care? Why should G-D?)

8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

"Coveting" is probably the biggest incentive to work and progress that this species can get. "I like that car, how can I get one without stealing his?" Envy is not nor ever has been a "sin" among ethical people.

...encourage filial piety and marital fidelity and discourage envy. This is simply a good way to live and conducive to a harmonious life. These virtues would be applauded both in ancient Greece and the Han Empire. Violating them brings their own punishment in the form of misery and discord. Again, had the Bible never been written this would still be true. In that respect they are spiritual failings, but not crimes—though it could be argued adultery has to do with fraud if it involves deception or the violation of a mutual voluntary agreement.

Filial piety is a crock. I assume you didn't grow up with the after-effects of a mother who endured years af beating and rape by a drunken slob (yeah, I'm a drunken slob too, built into the gene, but I'm mellow, never struck any wife of mine or struck any kid since I was one, and then it was in self defense) for the sake of the children. My marriage is open by verbal contract [written contracts on marriage are invalid in any US court anyway], no cheating required. I have no spiritual failings, since I've been an atheist since I first read the KJV cover to cover when I was twelve. They were going to full-immersion baptize me and assure my salvation—I thought that was a big decision and decided to read the manual I'd been given several years before after a year of perfect attendance at Sunday School. I have never set foot in a church since except when paid [churches buy computers] or driven by somebody else's guilt, usually for funerals—sorry, but La Esposa's mother concea led her symptoms until much too late, the VA had been doing its best to kill her father for forty years, and JV was not her responsibility when he stroked out, but she felt responsible every time, I guess it's a nurse or catholic thing).

The remainder...
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me

I shall have no gods. At all. What was JHVH afraid of? That the recent polytheists he was brainwashing would pick one of his butt-buddies?

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

Oops, I own a camera.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

Cussing is still my main use of christian mythology.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

Saturday is my day of rest after the week's work. Sunday, while the idiots (most of the neighbors not worth bearing false witness against) are at church, I mow the lawn or do other chores around the house. Or I sleep in before making breakfast for me and La Esposa.

...are matters of faithfulness, idolatry, blasphemy and ritual observance. These are matters of one's understanding of—and relation to—deity.

They are all matters of ritual observance.

Consequently they concern the individual and deity and are nobody else's business, especially not the business of someone who has a different opinion of what they comprise.

And no deity has any authority over me. Yes, I'm an anarchist. That doesn't mean I don't believe in government, since I can see it everywhere, but I'm against it. In a similar fashion I'm an atheist—I don't see a G-D, but if one shows its face I will oppose it. I've never heard of a G-D that observed or even respected the Zero Aggression Principle. Especially not the bastard called "G-D of Wrath" in the Old Testament, "G-D of Love" (for the Inquisition) in the New Testament or "G-D the Merciful" in the Koran. (Some folks forget that all of the "Peoples of the Book" are worshipping the same asshole).

In my mind the Ten Commandments are very libertarian. This does not surprise me since their literary context is the reorganization of a society that had escaped tyranny and sought to avoid its reimposition.

No, they sought to impose their tyranny upon others. Reread the parts about the conquest of Palestine and check the real motives of the "Pilgrim Fathers".

I do not discount the Bible, I just do not regard it in accordance with the Five Fundamentals.

I discount it. You can have any bible I own (about eight, in five translations) for a quarter of a FRN each. You pay postage.

Ward Griffiths
wdg3rd -+at+- comcast -=dot=- net

I enjoyed L. Neil Smith's "Never Forgive, Never Forget". He does a great job of showing the cultural significance of Sarah Palin and the political-class values underlying much of the entertainment industry.

What I do think he could have emphasized more is how scared the political class appears right now. We all know Obama's cult-like promise for hope and change. McCain brands himself a maverick, and his choice to nominate a pseudo-outsider like Palin as co-conspirator looks like a desperate attempt to feign some connection to the ruled. Palin is supposed to be thought of as "one of us whom we must defend from those damn liberals because it's us or them." Of course in reality she's just another gangster making speeches about freedom while armored thugs in her service deploy chemical weapons on peaceful crowds outside.

Politicians try to bend with the wind and today's wind demands change. I am not a Ron Paul supporter, but I think his campaign has contributed heavily to this atmosphere of desperation. When a presidential candidate in a major party campaigns on Revolution, it's hard to just laugh off. The political class tries to present itself as reasonably revolutionary.

It will be hard for them to pander to the pesky anarchists who blockade their shows and call for an end to politicians. The only ways the political class can fight them are force, lies, and possibly co-opting parallel institutions in the classic state-socialist manner.

Speaking of anarchists, the RNC 8 could use help fighting the terrorism charges they were given for organizing dissenters. I do think they are more left than the general readership of this magazine, but real revolution will not follow anyone's party line exactly. We should stand with those who oppose authority and do not want to become rulers themselves. The RNC Welcoming Committee was also open to market anarchists and allowed literature by Rothbard, Konkin, Hess, Long, and other radical libertarians to be displayed and distributed in their convergence center. We ought to show that we are serious about liberty.

Darian Worden

Hi Ken,

I'm not quite sure how to respond to Ann Morgan's comments, since she seems largely to have missed the point of my letter.

First, she says a town with an ordinance banning front lawn orgies has to be unfree—even though I stipulated the ordinance was adopted unanimously (perhaps to clear up any confusion, I should also have added it required a unanimous vote to pass). Then she admits such a place could exist after all, but it would be a gated community, not a town. Thanks for clearing that up for us, Ann.

Then I am taken to task for enslaving "any or all human beings for all time", all because I like unanimity! Of course, when I say "unanimous" I mean that; a subset e.g. of "white" males in the community does not qualify. Presumably, the darker members of the community would not vote to enslave themselves, so unanimity would be missing. Ann ought to google "Covenant of Unanimous Consent" to discover how out-of-place her concerns about unanimity seem on this web site.

As to children being bound by what the parents agree to, well that is somewhat a side issue, and a rather large and complex one. Just because I have not addressed it, does not mean it cannot be addressed. One example would be that children are bound by their parents' agreements until age 18, when they must themselves agree or be expelled from the community. But according to Ann, sterilization is required. Is that a serious argument?

Next I was accused of disliking sexual behavior, which segued into a discussion of Shiva's penis. I am not making this up...

You know what I really dislike? I dislike it when people cook up outlandish scenarios, like orgies on front lawns in sight of school children, to either disqualify freedom, or to show how libertine one is while everyone else is stodgy. The latter also includes provocateurs who play libertine while intentionally casting freedom in so unsavory a light that again, it disqualifies freedom in the eyes of the average Joe. I much prefer people who say that with freedom, you'll earn piles more money and be left alone otherwise, have lots more fun, can associate (or not) with whomever you wish, and feel better about yourself. People who care about freedom, and have some sense besides, stick with those kinds of statements.

Paul Bonneau
pjb1 -+at+- tctwest -=dot=- net


[this link to a .pdf file]

In the more mature European competition in Shell's Eco Marathon, the winner in the ICE category was again powered by...


299 km on one liter of 200 proof white lightning. At least some Froggies understand it is cheaper to design a good engine using a fuel You can make than try to take energy that does not belong to You.

The runner up is getting closer, finishing 291 km on a liter of 95 octane gasoline provided by Shell.

So much for the position of API engineers that all that matters is the BTU's in a given fuel.

I won't list the American version of the race Shell sponsors, the mpg results are too embarrassing to post. Maybe next Year they will get close.

Robert Jackman
Juliusno1776 -+at+- yahoo -=dot=- com


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