Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 494, November 23, 2008

"Any government will grow until it
claims power over absolutely everything."

  Table of Contents Contents Next Next

Letters to the Editor

Send Letters to
Note: All letters to this address will be considered for
publication unless they say explicitly Not For Publication

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear, otherwise we will use the information in the "From:" header!]

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Craig Goodrich with Reply from A. X. Perez

Letter from The Editor

Letter from Paul Bonneau

Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Joe Singleton

Dear Ken,

Re: "The Crimes of Sarah Palin" by L. Neil Smith

I have enjoyed an avalanche of e-mail regarding my recent article about Sarah Palin, especially after it was republished on several websites, including People's Hero of the R3VOLution Ernie Hancock's Freedom's Phoenix, and in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, thanks to our good friend Vin Suprynowicz.

One reason I wrote the piece is that I still remember personally how certain factions within the Republican Party went malignantly limp on Barry Goldwater once he won the nomination fair and square in 1964. Goldwater was another "everyman's" candidate, like Palin, whom the northeastern liberal Republican Brahmins figured didn't really deserve the nod, for all that he was the delegates' choice.

All of the responses to my article so far have been positive, but several people—most of them women, interestingly enough—were upset about my claim that Mitt Romney's supporters had deliberately spread damaging lies about the Alaska governor. They wanted to know my sources.

I don't write scholarly or academic articles, and the number of footnotes I've included over the years can be counted on the fingers of one elbow. Also, I've been working especially hard, finishing Phoebus Krumm for Big Head Press. So I couldn't remember or cite my original sources.

However, even the quickest and most superficial search on Google today produced enough results to satisfy anyone that what I said has as many legs as the average centipede. I entered "romney supporters"+"palin" and found the following on the first page alone.

Others, of course—mostly Romney supporters—were denying it.

L. Neil Smith

Let me get this straight

So Barack Obama plans to raise taxes (only on the wealthy, of course). He also plans on instituting mandatory national service (or at least that's what his supporters have already started to claim).

And people overseas believe that the man who is in favor of acquiring the sinews of war (money and cannon fodder) is less of a threat than a man who restricted himself to the damage he could do after reducing taxes and restricting himself to an under equipped volunteer military?

And people accuse me of smoking good stuff (By the way I don't. Won't even take what the MD's prescribe as all it does is make me crash and interfere with my normal joie de vivre.).

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs -+at+-

Re: "Reality Check" by A.X. Perez

Reality has been optional...

...(though of course never encouraged) in politics, especially Leftist politics, for at least a century now. The articles in #493 are among your real keepers, particularly Neil's piece on Palin. Clearly the idea that an actual human might be a heartbeat away from the Presidency terrified the media elite who like to think they have been chosen to Vanquish the Great Darkness.

I do have to take issue, though, with Mr. Perez' characterization of Jimmy Carter as a worse President than poor W. Their similarities are more telling than their differences:

  • Carter came in with some genuinely good ideas—zero-based budgeting, for example—but was promptly mugged by DC's Democratic establishment. All of the dreadful screwups attributed to his administration were really due to his failure to lead, rather than to his leadership. The same thing is true of W. But in both cases, the President was simply following his faith in the democratic consensus, the Congress and Cabinet of people he was assured were the best minds around. (And perhaps they were.)

  • Carter was blamed for an economic meltdown caused by the "guns and butter" easy money of the '60s and early '70s, just as W is being blamed for a meltdown caused by the easy money of the 90s. When will we understand that in our huge economy, the consequences of terrible government ideas take a long time to become obvious? The bankruptcy of Fanny Mae and her statist cousins had its roots in all the "redlining" rhetoric of two decades ago.

(And as to being the worst President, which (of course) Mr. Perez does not claim, we all know about Adams' Alien and Sedition Act, Lincoln's war, TR's imperialism, Wilson's fatuous idealism, FDR's incompetent extension of a severe correction into a decade of disaster, LBJ's Great Society, Nixon's EPA—there has never been a shortage of Really Really Bad Ideas in and around the White House, and their consequences accumulate. We're living with an unbelievable load of them now, and although I keep reading that we simply can't take any more, I look at Canada and England and become doubtful that we'll start a revolution anytime soon. These frogs are going to get boiled.)

Both Carter and W are personally sincere, genuinely well-meaning men; they are among the very, very few Washington politicians I'd leave my kids with overnight if I had to (God forbid). But they were both destroyed by the system. The political process as it exists in the US—let alone anywhere else—is inherently destructive of civil society and human freedom. And it frequently eats its own, as in the case of these two feckless Presidents.

Pace Lord Acton, it's not merely that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but that even a little power over absolutely everything corrupts both the power holder and his potential victims. And as clearly shown by any arbitrarily chosen hunk of history since the beginning of writing, any government will grow until it claims power over absolutely everything.

And that, kiddies, is why Daddy is an anarchist.

Keep up the good fight,

Craig Goodrich
craigg -+at+-

PS—As to the last election, all Barr proved was that given the choice between a Republican and a Republican, the voters will pick the Republican every time. And all McCain proved was that given a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, the voters will pick the Democrat every time. What the whole election proved was that our public school system has finally succeeded in producing an electorate utterly incapable of critical thought, and without the factual knowledge to apply such thought even if they could. An electorate of teeny-boppers. Congratulations are in order.

To Which Mr. Perez replied:

My problem with Carter is that he is an extremely decent man who chose to surrender to evil. Bush responded to evil with excessive force. Given a choice between a person who lets himself and his family be robbed and a man who steps over the line in reacting to being robbed I am more inclined to sympathize with the latter. Bush was convinced by his handlers that the US had a choice between being a conqueror or conquered. Carter never caught on until December of 1979 that the Soviets were cheerfully pursuing the Cold War even as he declared peace.

Bush's greatest sin was and is letting himself be used as a puppet by Cheney, Rumsfeld and others. Carter's biggest sin was proving he should have had someone pulling his strings.

It will be interesting watch and see if Obama can do a better job of cleaning up W's mess without creating his own than Reagan did of cleaning up Carter's.

I am not optimistic.

By the way Wilson was not an idealist. He was a back-stabbing racist warmongering hypocrite. At least TR was entertaining in his imperialism and had the honesty to admit to what he was doing. He actually broke up at least one quarrel (the one behind the historical basis of The Wind And the Lion) that should have started WWI early. For all his protestations of pacifism Wilson nearly started a war with Mexico twice and got the US into WWI.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs -+at+-

Now isn't this interesting:

"Would-be appointees quizzed on guns"
by Jonathan Martin

President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is asking potential appointees detailed questions about gun ownership, and firearms advocates aren't happy about it. [Read More:]

The Editor

Dump DC!

Dear Ken,

"50 State Secession" redux

I was googling around to see whether my 50 State Secession meme is being propagated, when I ran into one comment claiming I was one of those "black helicopter, 'North American Union' conspiracy nuts."

I generally don't think of myself as a "conspiracy nut". While I believe that Conspiracies Do Happen, I also believe that Not Everything Is A Conspiracy, a notion that true conspiracy nuts would reject, as far as I can tell. But maybe I had inadvertently picked up a whiff of conspiracy with this NAU thing?

I consulted those great fonts of internet wisdom and authority, Snopes and Wikipedia. OK, maybe the official story is, "there's nothing there". But then if "they" had NAU in mind, they'd have to approach it a lot more gingerly over here than they did in a Europe recently shattered by war. But maybe this NAU thing really is nothing but a few academic papers and whatnot?

I will back off a bit on the NAU claim, while noting that no matter what they want to call it—even if they call it nothing at all, in public—there are still obviously 1) strong tendencies for centralization of power and for empire, and 2) an obvious need at some point for replacement of our soon-to-be Zimbaweized dollar—even if they don't call the new currency the "amero". I don't want to distress NAU-deniers! Anyway, the point still remains in the original article, whatever you want to call it.

I have gotten some nice bumper stickers from If the editor wants to show it, I have included it attached in my email, with the warning that claims copyright on all their designs. If he doesn't show it, it just says "Dump D.C.!" in large text, and "50 State Secession" in smaller text beneath it. I have put a few in a local store to see how popular they are with ordinary folks. Of course anyone can make their own bumper stickers these days, so if you like this idea and you like bumper stickers, have at it!

Paul Bonneau
pjb1 -+at+-

Re: "Letter from Richard Bartucci"

Very droll. There's also a constitutional issue. The validity of the public debt of the United States shall never be questioned, it says in the fourth paragraph of what is called the Fourteenth Amendment. This modifies the constitutional provision that the members of Congress may not be questioned for statements they make on the floor of either house. It is obviously a provision that only a banker could love.

It was this part, together with the bit about the debts of the Confederacy never being paid, that required thousands of armed Union army troops to conduct bayonet drills in Austin before the members of the Texas legislature. Even the carpet baggers and scalawags of the 1869 legislature didn't want to ratify that amendment. But the bayonet drills did the trick.

Paul Bonneau is right. None of us need to repudiate the debt. It isn't ours. The obligations are on the corporate USA, or on the Congress and president that enter into them, not on the people generally.

Jim Davidson
planetaryjim -+at+-

Re: "The Crimes of Sarah Palin" by L. Neil Smith

I read L. Neil Smith's article with a smile on my face and got a little misty at the line "In short, she's a Heinlein woman." She's that, and more, from what I've seen. And, yeah, that's why she's so scary to the limp lefties and the spineless righties. Sure, she's a republican, but she's seems to have a lot more of an individualist streak than the average member of that party. Maybe there's some slight hope, yet, though I'd prefer to see her come all the way over to our way of thinking.

And to any of those back-stabbing Republicans who leaked those stories, I hope someone in your party does you the same favor, someday you chicken-shit pinheads.

Joe Singleton
singularity_studio -+at+-


Rational Review
Rational Review

Rational Review News Digest
Rational Review News Digest

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
  Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 494, November 23, 2008

Big Head Press