Big Head Press


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 611, March 20, 2011

"They are deliberately destroying America"


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Individual Sovereign University Events
by Jim Davidson
jim@vertoro.com

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

The Individual Sovereign University founding fiesta was great fun for all involved. We had excellent speakers, a great hotel for the occasion, plenty of good people, and conversations about everything—no holds barred.

You can visit our web site at IndSovU.com for details on the conference, what was planned. We're also accepting deposits for the upcoming shows. I'll be posting more details about the conference here in this note, starting with Gary Chartier's speech and running right through to the dead dog party.

Thursday night
We actually got started on Tuesday 1 March with Harry Felker and John Wayne Smith arriving from Florida. They drove straight through, taking shifts at sleeping while the other drove. That lengthy trip is a good measure of their commitment to be involved, and we thank them.

By Thursday night we had everything prepped, including all the conference folders, the name badges for everyone who said they would be attending, and all the merchandise. Harry took time to fold each of the t-shirts properly. So we packed it all into John's truck and my father's car and drove over to Missouri.

After we got situated in our rooms, we checked things out around the hotel. They have a modest fitness room, a huge indoor pool, an also huge hot tub jacuzzi pool—about 12 feet by 12 feet—and a modest meeting room. There's also a very large lobby with a big fireplace, a desk for their computer and colour printer for guests to use, and a very large area for the free breakfast included with every room night.

Almost immediately I started getting calls and texts from our good friend Puck Smith about his arrival by train at the Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) union station. So Harry and I grabbed my driving directions to the train station and off we went. Puck was unmistakable in the modest crowd exiting the train—not much security theatre at train stations, either. (I mean, if you were to be weird enough to want to hijack a train, where are you going to take it? Gravity has it stuck to the rails, and it isn't like they don't have remote control over the switches everywhere.)

A little later after delivering Puck safely to the hotel and getting him checked in, it was off to the airport to pick up our exhibitor, Furb Furbish. I was surprised to find Furb not accompanied by huge crates of merchandise, but he had most of what showed up delivered direct to the hotel. Clever people are clever.

No, it isn't necessarily going to be the case that the founder of the university chauffeurs guests of the conferences to the events. But I am of the opinion that we are all equally free, equally sovereign, and that what was really meant in the declaration of independence "to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle" us is just as it sounds—every individual as sovereign as every other. When it is time for action, don't shirk the actions you can take because you think you are too important to be the one taking them. You aren't. Neither am I.

We tested out the theory that if you bring only one Mormon with you when you go fishing, he drinks all your beer. And so we woke up on Friday morning in our various rooms, with lots of calls and texts about how things were coming together.

Friday
Setting up went very smoothly, there not being much of a room for the meeting space. It turned out that we filled the room pretty well, so it seemed crowded, even though there were a total of 26 people in attendance, including university personnel.

Friday morning found me back in Kansas for a few items left behind. On my way back to Missouri, I stopped in Olathe to pick up our speaker Brad Spangler. Eventually, I sent him and John Wayne Smith shopping at the Price Chopper super market just a short distance from the hotel. And neglected to mention beer. Just as well, because you never know what swill people will buy if you say "beer." So I made an excursion myself to pick up some good choices, including a six of Ad Astra Ale and a six of Copperhead, both from "Free State Brewery" in Lawrence. Also an 18 of Budweiser Select, because, let's not go overboard on catering to beer drinkers. And a few other choices I like.

Back to the hotel to make up some cups of half and half with the Guinness stout floating on the Harp lager. Yum.

John brought in some tools from his truck, and Ronin David Neilson arrived with more tools, so we got the big banner mounted behind the speakers' table. Other set up proceeded a-pace.

The meet and greet at poolside went well, with several visits to the nearby pizza shoppe that actually sells good 'za and also a delivery of even more 'za from pizza the hut. Many great conversations, some swimming—I brought extra trunks so people could enjoy the water. Much fun was had by all.

There was a fireside chat. Although I had booked a suite with a fireplace and jacuzzi, so we could all party in private, it was insufficient to our purpose. Not big enough. So, happily there was a big jacuzzi available at the hotel, and a big fireplace in the lobby. We had a great chat.

No, I'm not going to tell you all about it. You'll want to buy the DVD when it is released. :-)

Of course, the discussions continued on into the night, with the group moving to various hotel rooms, congregating, shifting, and re-combining. I got to sleep about 0100. And back up at dawn.

Saturday
There were still many things to do on Saturday. First among these was fetching Sally Finck to the show.

I had attempted to structure the Order Without Leaders temporary place-holder awards (while the artist still dicks around building the statuettes) with a packet of construction paper. This idea did not take long to become untenable.

That conviction found me in the lobby working at the hotel's computer on colour graphics to be printed on their great big fancy printer. Well, the design went okay, but the printing was off the menu. So I asked at the front desk and the lady there had a shrug and "That printer isn't hooked up."

To me, that was a minor affront to the computer nerd in me, and something of an impasse. Puck Smith to the rescue. Puck with some other folks hanging around giving poignant advice managed to get the printer to emit all four awards. So after that the colour printer was working. Yay! Thank you very much for your excellent work, Puck.

Gary Chartier's speech went off without even so much as a reasonable time for an introduction from Harry, let alone a welcome greeting to start the show. The technical connection was assembled, as best I can tell, by me bringing assorted equipment, Puck Smith a laptop, and Ronin David a variety of gear and support. We ended up having a screen for Gary, speakers, and a microphone to let him hear questions, plus another mic for Ronin's recording. Yay. Thanks guys!

You can get a copy of Gary's speech, I think, on our videos for the conference, or just ask him about it. I was in and out of the room focused on making things ready the whole time. And about the same for Brad Spangler's speech, which I think went very well.

Several people, including John Wayne Smith and Brad Spangler, helped with acquiring the groceries and assembling the mid-day meal. We had a bounty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and sandwich fixings, along with soft drinks. I think much fun was had by all.

During dinner we all wandered back in to the meeting room so Furb could present the most excellent Freedom Book Club book of the year award to "The Anarcho Teachings of Yeshua" and author Darryl W. Perry. So that went very well, indeed. It might have gone off even better if Darryl had been in attendance to receive the award. I gather from Furb that a $500 gift in Darryl's honour has been presented to an important freedom-related charity. Yay!

We were eagerly anticipating Stacy Litz's presentation on "The Student Liberty Movement: Past, Present and Future!" but it was not available as Stacy did not attend. This lacuna was filled by a last minute presentation by Shaun Lee on two topics. First she spent about twenty minutes discussing non-coercive parenting and raising free children in a stateless society. Then she spent about half an hour discussing domestic violence. I think both presentations went very well.

Two games were discussed. Shaun talked about the "clean up game" in which she sings a song and all her sons help her with cleaning all over the house. Everything gets picked up and put away very promptly.

Furb talked about the "Pirates" game in which the first person to see a uniformed thug collecting revenue on the streets or highways shouts "pirates!" It seems like a great way to teach children the importance of freedom, independence, and a non-coercive relationship to others.

Shaun spoke at length about "deals" which are serious discussions with a child. Both Furb and Shaun spoke of taking children seriously, and that prompted me to mention my friend Sarah Fitz-Claridge and her work on Taking Children Seriously, the educational philosophy. Shaun discussed how a negotiated deal can encourage a child to take seriously her own commitment.

Next up was my workshop on business planning. I gave an outline of a business plan and discussed some of the practical pitfalls and possibilities of a new business. Again, you can get more details from our video of the event.

Harry gave an excellent workshop on and overview of agorism. He talked about the need to move more and more activities into the black market. What I heard of it was excellent. Unfortunately, at this point I began to flag. Late night, and lots of preparation for the event stress took its toll.

Happily, I was able to catch up on my sleep. Then we began prep for the banquet. Very kindly, Shaun Lee placed the order for a great barbecue feast from a downtown Kansas City barbecue place. Also very kindly Nik Ludwig and Lewis Fiecke agreed to ride Sally back to her car and fetch the barbecue from Jack Stack's. And most excellent barbecue it was.

This led to the presentation of the Order Without Leaders awards. The Centre for a Stateless Society and the Individual Sovereign University jointly awarded the 2011 Courage in Ending War award to Julian Assange and Bradley Manning; the 2011 Courage in Ending Dictatorships award to the Peoples of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya; the 2011 Courage in Paying Freedom Forward award to Shaun Lee Anderson; and the 2011 Persistence of Vision award to Harry Felker. More awards to follow, of course.

Harry made a most impressive after supper speech about the future of education, giving elaborate and excellent details on all aspects of what roles Individual Sovereign University, our academies for youngsters, and related education projects can have in bringing more freedom to the education process. I think many people were inspired, including me.

Finally, to round out the evening, I gave the second of my fireside chats, this time on the topic of Being Libertarian.

Sunday
Sunday morning there were only two events. One was my presentation, for a small coterie of the least hung over and most likely to rise early on the topic of "What do you do tomorrow." This workshop was about brainstorming ideas for keeping the vision alive after the event. At these types of conferences, the vision of a free society is "painted on the walls." But when you go home, you live amongst people, and drive around them, and shop near them, who do not share the vision. So we talked about ways to keep moving forward on our paths.

Then we had the dead dog party. Almost everyone was awake by the time it ended, and things broke up in the early afternoon.

Future Events
We are planning to follow-up with at least some of our key personnel at the following events.

1. June 2011 New Hampshire, PorcFest, Agora Valley—Shaun Lee Anderson is committed to leading the Missouri caravan back east for fun and networking.

2. October 2011 Montana—location to be determined.

3. December 2011 Florida—more to follow. Very likely our Dean of Faculty, Harry Felker will be there along with some of our notorious Florida friends.

4. March 2012 Austin area of Texas. You know this is going to be great.

5. June 2012 Richmond, Virginia

6. September 2012 vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

7. December 2012 vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada

8. March 2013—elsewhere on Earth—probably Europe.

9. Not that long from now, near the Acidalia Planitia, Mars.

If you paid to attend the Individual Sovereign University founding fiesta and you were not able to attend for any reason, we consider your membership in your choice of one other event to be paid in full. If you paid a deposit, that's good on a future event of your choice.

We give good value for value received.


Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and anti-war activist. His 1990 venture to offer a sweepstakes trip into space was destroyed by government action as was his free port and prospective space port in Somalia in 2001. His 2002-2007 venture in free market money and private stock exchange was destroyed by government action in 2007. He's going to Mars if he has to walk. His second book, Being Sovereign is now availble from Lulu and Amazon. He is currently working on a book about travel to Mars with John Wayne Smith, a book with international fugitive Chad Z. Hower on his story, a book on sovereign self-defence, and a book compiling his letters and essays in "The Libertarian Enterprise" from 1995 to 2010. Contact him at or indsovu.com Come visit his teams at events in June 2011 in New Hampshire, September 2011 in Montana, December 2011 in Florida, and March 2012 in Austin, Texas.


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