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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 629, July 24, 2011

"The 21st century Rosa Parks"


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----- Begin Forwarded Message from "ATFSUX" -----

Heartwarming story

Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5-year-old girl and some construction workers that will make you believe that we all can make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.

A young family moved into a house, next to a vacant lot. One day, a Construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers.

Eventually the construction crew, all of them "gems-in-the-rough," more or less, adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week, they even presented her with a pay envelope containing ten dollars. The little girl took this home to her mother who suggested that she take her ten dollars "pay" she'd received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When the girl and her mom got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age.. The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with a real construction crew building the new house next door to us."

"Oh my goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"

The little girl replied, "I will, if those assholes at Lowe's ever deliver the damn sheet rock..."

Kind of brings a tear to the eye—doesn't it?

----- End of Forwarded Message -----

L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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In response to Paul Bonneau, who wrote a letter in the previous issue

The core of our disagreement seems to be your view that "quantifying is what the state does". While that may be so, that doesn't mean that "quantifying", in and of itself, is necessarily a bad thing, any more than "buying" or "shooting" are, in and of themselves, bad things. Numbers are the most powerful tool of instrumental rationality—which is, simply, the science of winning, of achieving the best possible result in any given situation. And, while numbers can, naturally, be used by a government to limit many peoples' freedom, they can also be used by an individual to increase theirs.

I freely admit that "lifetime discretionary income" is probably not the best yardstick with which to measure someone's freedom. That doesn't mean that the entire approach is useless—only that better measuring standards would allow for better planning, so that you could tell whether your liberty is increasing, staying steady, or decreasing, and what actions have the greatest impact thereon.

If you have any suggestions about how to measure an individual's liberty, I would love to hear them.

Thank you for your time,

DataPacRat
datapacrat@datapacrat.com
lu .iacu'i ma krinu lo du'u .ei mi krici la'e di'u li'u traji lo ka vajni fo lo preti

And then Mr. DataPacRat replied to furthur communication he received from Mr. Bonneau:

On Sun, Jul 17, 2011 at 9:10 AM, Paul Bonneau wrote:

DataPacRat, our main point of contention is not that "quantifying is what the state does", but that you are looking for the greatest good for the greatest number (and using a pretty strange definition of good in the process). You have a utilitarian conception of liberty, and I don't believe liberty is a utilitarian thing even though it usually, as a side effect, increases utility. I would rather be more free even if it decreased my utility.

The very fact your method led to a nonsensical result—that reducing or eliminating taxes might harm what you call liberty—should tell you that you are on the wrong path. Science tells you now to reject your hypothesis.

One of the things I have studied, in my quest to learn what techniques are useful in differentiating truth from falsehood, is the 'absurdity heuristic': that things that are obvious nonsense tend to be false. While often very useful to weed out certain sorts of ideas, there are a number of situations where this heuristic is simply outright wrong. Throughout history, it has done worse than maximum entropy—it has ruled out the actual outcomes as being far too absurd to be considered. Thus, in order to find the truth, even what is obvious nonsense cannot necessarily be ruled out simply because it /is/ nonsense. Thus, even if what you are referring to as 'Science' may now tell me to reject my hypothesis, 'truthseeking' and 'rationality' don't, at least not on that particular ground.

Other grounds are, of course, another matter. For example, we could go over whether finding areas where lots of people have greater freedoms necessarily has any correlation with the freedom of any given individual in that area. But since, as you point out, I'm a utilitarian (or at least something close to whatever is meant by that term), and you say that you're not, then we'd probably have to find /some/ common ground before our discussion could get to where it produced useful new insights for either of us. For example, I could suggest that you have, in fact, implied that you have a 'utility function'—that you want to be 'more free', even at the expense of decreasing your utility according to other measures. (Utilitarianism, at least the form I'm closest to, doesn't necessarily imply that everyone has to use any particular objective standard of value, any more than everyone has to agree on whether something is beautiful, or offensive.) Which brings us back to my original point—how can you tell when you /are/ 'more free', compared to anyone else, or compared to yourself at different times?

PS: If you wish to continue this communication, please extend the courtesy of using your real name.

PS: I am the only person who uses the name 'DataPacRat', and don't try to conceal its connection to my real name—I simply prefer to use the name I've chosen for myself, when online. If you wish to know my real name, a simple Google search would have revealed it on the first result page; among other places, at

profiles.google.com/DataPacRat
en.wikifur.com/wiki/DataPacRat
twitter.com/#!/DataPacRat and
www.facebook.com/DataPacRat

It would take an annoying amount of effort to reconfigure my mail system to add my real name to the From: header and then to change it back when emailing others, so since my real name is only a single click away, I trust that that will be sufficient for you.

PPS: It may amuse you to know that before I received your letter, I had already submitted an article proposal to The Libertarian Enterprise specifically about online pseudonyms. (I make no guarantees about whether it will be accepted, of course. [See "How to Live Free in an Unfree Internet" in this issue—Editor]) Thank you for your time,

DataPacRat
datapacrat@datapacrat.com
lu .iacu'i ma krinu lo du'u .ei mi krici la'e di'u li'u traji lo ka vajni fo lo preti

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Re: "Fuck Obama" by Frank Ney

Frank Ney writes:

But the straw that broke the camel's back and made me blind with rage was the so-called President of the United States, the so-called "Leader of the Free World", this absolute moron, telling some of the best men and women our country has to offer, in front of the whole world, that their next jobs will be at Domino's Pizza.

Now, now. The stupid, Kenyan-born citizen of the Republic of Indonesia (he never did get naturalized as a U.S. citizen after being adopted by "Lolo" Soetoro, his name changed to "Barry" Soebarkah, to lose whatever American identity he might have ever had when he sucked his first breath of life in Coast Province General Hospital in Mombasa, and thus to become the good Muslim schoolboy we all know today) was trying to pull off a "joke" written for him by his equally inept and alien Soros-funded puppeteers and scrolling across his TelePrompTer screen.

Hm. D'you really think that it's necessary to "impeach this asshole" when the sonofabitch was never lawfully qualified to run for the office he's been fucking up since January 2009?

Rick Matarese
rmtuci78@gmail.com

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I would like to introduce you to a noncommercial reference website called Government Attic. According to the Internet Archive, the site seems to have been established approximately September 2007.

www.GovernmentAttic.org

The site is quite useful and holds a large and growing amount of otherwise unavailable federal agency data. The site has two main sections: DOCUMENTS and FOIA CASE LOGS. Each section is accessed through a menu. There is also a very helpful LINKS section. The home page identifies in chronological order the newest items that have been added to the site. The site publishes the official letter of release for each document, so everything appears legitimate.

On the downside, the full text search engine on the home page is helpful to have available but I would not rely upon it for primary use of the site. The overall structure of the site seems a bit akilter, but then again, most attics are messy.

According to the site owners:

Governmentattic.org provides electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities and fun stuff and government bloopers, they're all here. Think of browsing this site as rummaging through the Government's Attic—hence our name.

The website description goes on to say:

The public records published on this site were obtained from government agencies using proper legal channels. Each document is identified as to the source. Any concerns about the contents of this website should be directed to the agency originating the document in question. GovernmentAttic.org is not responsible for the contents of documents published on the website. SOURCES OF FUNDING: The Government Attic website receives no funding from any outside source. All costs are paid for by the site owners.

The site seems to be a small step toward greater transparency and accessibility of agency information. There are, as you know, obstacles in achieving such increased access: allocation of resources to publish records online, the approval process to get records published online, and lack of staff skilled in preparing records for efficient online publication.

A. Reader


Scattered Thoughts Gathered

A while back there was some discussion about the "right to an education" on these pages (electrons). Much headbutting occurred. The problem is that we are talking about two different things at the same time. The first is do I have the right to learn as much as my point little head can handle? And the answer to that is yes I do.

Not only that, I have the right to hire teachers who will help me achieve that goal. I have the right to get together with others who wish to learn the same subject matter to pay the teacher and to improve our learning by discussing the material among ourselves. I have the right to seek out people who will sponsor my education against the probability that I will create goods and provide services that will bring them profit.

The next question is do I have the right to force someone to involuntarily pay for my education? The words "force" and "involuntarily" answer the question with a resounding no. Unfortunately the state has attempted to establish a monopoly on education, trapping many students and teachers (to do do, do do, guilty survey of environs) in a system financed in that manner.

This leads to the final idea. Statists subscribe to the Robin Hood theory, whether they are nominally liberal or conservative. They believe that some causes are so righteous they give their advocates permission to steal and apply force to obtain their goals. Considering their penchant for pushing this nation to the edge of civil war we must beware of falling for this trap, of being sucked in by the Dark Side as it were and turn to the Robin Hood fallacy to pay for the fight and the post shooting war portion of the next revolution.

Because, compadres and commadres, we are about 2 weeks (this is being written on 18 July 2011) from the start of the next revolution if the clowns in Congress don't get their acts together. And even if that crisis is averted there are still others waiting to blow up.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs@hotmail.com

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To which Richard Bartucci replied:

Compulsorily funded, politically-curriculum'd, and government-operated educationist gulags imposed upon the children of each community at gunpoint are excused as a "public good," a supposed "investment in our future" dedicated to turning the next generations into productive citizens.

Think of 'em as veal-fattening pens in which the incarcerated little animals are—mostly—allowed to grow into beeves and milch cows.

Of course, they're more than that. They're enormous barrels of political pork. Everybody focuses on the ex-Education majors babysitting each classroom full of miserable and unwilling attendees (and do any of us with college experience NOT hold the Education majors as a group in harsh contempt?), but the real hemorrhage of bled-from-the-taxpayers money flows carnelian and reeking into the pockets of politically connected contractors and vendors overpaid for the "support services" secondary to what goes on between each lesson's opening and closing bells. The people running the bus companies (those "short buses" for the Special Education kids are especially lucrative), the equipment sellers, the construction companies....

Oh, my best beloved, but consider the construction companies—ever so contributory to the politicians, ever so kind to the bureaucrats— responsible for building the enormous, echoing, gorgeous modern "public" schools in your town and the next. Were there ever such handsome veal-fattening pens in all the histories of all the world?

It has never been so much a question of moral right and wrong in fulfilling the entirely phony "right to an education" on the basis of violating the real rights of millions to their liberties and their property, but rather one of whether or not the purpose of civil government is the protection of individual rights or the distribution of political pork.

The government educationist veal-fattening pens are great generators of political pork, and that's how—in truth and entirely—they're viewed by the politicians and bureaucrats and contractors who are the real beneficiaries of this unspeakably destructive and predatory boondoggle.

Turning America's kids into drooling yups incapable of critical thought and therefore the perfect victims of our "cork-screwing, back-stabbing, and dirty-dealing" governing class?

Heck, that's nothing more than a bonus for the politicians.

Richard Bartucci
bartucci01@verizon.net

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And Neale Osborn replied:

The simple fact is, they are nothing but indoctrination stations, injecting socialism, liberalism, conformism, and political correctness into the "young skulls full of mush" forcibly incarerated. My nephew was one of those taught hymns of praise for "The Mombasa Messiah" (LOVE that term), to the joyous and enthusiastic support of my sister. and even today, they both vigorously defend his every action. The brainwashing took!

Neale Osborn
nealebooks@hotmail.com

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Houston Control is Having Problemsky

Imagine if the US military had sold all it's Springfield '03's and Enfield 1917's before adopting the M1 Garand. Now consider that it is at least three years before private industry will be ready to launch astronauts. and sme fifty years before the feds are ready to have a vehicle to go back to outer space.

I know at least one person on this list has no use for NASA, I know most of us view NASA serving at least as much as an obstacle to American achievement in space as a tool to that end. The bottom line is that the US Government arrogated control of the expansion of the American people into space and fucked up the job. The government seeks to arrogate total control of education and defense of liberty. We now know how well they can handle the job. Deal with this as you see fit.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs@hotmail.com

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Bustin' makes me feel good!

Re: "State Busting for Fun and Profit" by Jim Davidson

Who You Gonna Call? State Busters

by Jim Davidson

If there's someone deranged in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call? State Busters!

If there's some new law and it don't look good.
Who ya gonna call? State Busters!

I ain't afraid of no pigs.
I ain't afraid of no pigs.

If they're tasing folks running away from them.
Who can ya call? State Busters!

Police officer man stealing from your friend.
Who ya gonna call? State Busters!

I ain't afraid of no pigs.
I ain't afraid of no pigs.

Who ya gonna call? State Busters!

If ya all alone pick up the phone and call State Busters!

Who ya gonna call? State Busters!

I ain't afraid of no pigs.

I here they like young girls.

I ain't afraid of no pig.

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Who ya gonna call? State Busters!

If you've had a dose of a piggy hose baby
Ya better call State Busters!

Lemme tell ya something
Bustin' makes me feel good!

I ain't afraid of no pigs.
I ain't afraid of no pigs.

Don't get caught alone no no

State Busters!

When pigs come through your door
Unless you just want some more
I think you better call
State Busters!

Who ya gonna call?
State Busters!

Without apology to Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ghosbusters the film, or Ray Parker.

Jim Davidson
jim@vertoro.com

IndSovU.com


Gentlemen:

Is this one a timely and remarkable reminder of the obscure and distant past or is it not?—RDB

----- Begin Forwarded Message -----
From: liberty.quotes@centre.telemanage.ca
Subject: Barack Hussein Obama

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies. ... Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
—Barack Hussein Obama
(1961-) 44th President of the United States
Source: 20 March 2006, prior to voting against a debt ceiling increase in the Senate
Source: http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Barack.Hussein.Obama.Quote.7E86


Share these quotes—spread them around!
Many have sacrificed their lives for our Liberty.
Let us renew our commitment to Freedom.

Liberty Quotes—http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca

----- End Forwarded Message -----

Richard Bartucci
bartucci01@verizon.net

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To which L. Neil Smith commented:

This flaming asshole will say and do anything to gain and hold power. It is all that he's about. He's also afflicted with an inappropriate and pathological sense of the grandiose and believes that we mere mortals won't remember all his contradictory pronouncements.

Nothing in his bizarre and perverse background would prepare him to believe anything else.

L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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The Whole Thing Please!

In their great wisdom the Texas Education Agency has created a Social Studies TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skill) that students recite:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

during Freedom Week, The week of 17 September (Constitution day for those of you outside the US). This is a big hairy deal as mastery of TEKS is a requirement to pass certain grades and graduate from high school.

This requirement is OK as far as it goes. However, it does not go far enough. If you are a Texas Social Studies Teacher make sure your students learn the rest of the Thomas Jefferson's lovely summary of the Social Contract Theory (and I agree with Heinlein's description of the Declaration of Independence as "magnificent poetry."):

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Sorry LOLiPs (little old ladies in pants). This is Texas and even if you pressure the legislature and governor into wimping out so often, the rest of us take our freedom straight.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs@hotmail.com

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To which L. Neil Smith replied:

Decades ago, I attempted to rewrite Thomas Jefferson's Declaration to make it "simpler and more modern". Each and every time, I failed miserably. There are no simpler or more modern words that are capable of expressing the ideas in that document.

This was the beginning of my understanding of the man, and of my lifelong admiration of him, and my unswerving loyalty to the principles he served. The fact that "liberals" today have tried, over and over, to assassinate his character—because they have abandoned everything he stood for and he is now an embarrassment and an inconvenience to them—only makes me respect him more.

It's true that his situation and the times into which he had been born didn't permit him to live in 100 percent congruency with what he believed was right. He corrected what he could—notably his country's toxic relationship with England and its monarchy. He was more or less stuck with slavery. I use public roads and sidewalks, and my wife has supported my efforts for decades by working for the state government. Someday some jackass may try to negate whatever I have achieved by accusing me of hypocrisy. Sorry, I left my magic wand in my other suit.

There is no direct evidence that Jefferson had a sexual relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings, or that he was the father of her children. But suppose he did and was: do you suppose that she felt badly about it? Do you suppose any of his putative descendants did? I would be proud to be among his bastard offspring, myself. He was "a man of considerable passion" who nevertheless fulfilled his dying wife's request never to remarry. Sally would have understood that.

And even if I were wrong about any of that, it has absolutely nothing to do with the verity and value of what he wrote concerning individual rights—and which today's "progressives" feel so threatened by.

L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com

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To which Roger Clark replied:

Neil,

A few years ago some of Sally Hemmings' descendents underwent DNA testing. Comparison with know relations of Thomas Jefferson showed that a Jefferson male was an ancestor of those people.

Roger Clark
rclark5@elp.rr.com

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Great Opportunity for Capitalists at Heart

Do you realize how many jobs can be created if people decide to build and install adequate refrigerated air conditioning in the parts of the country sweltering under the current heat wave? Or to build enough generating capacity to power those coolers (and heaters for the next cold snap from hell)?

Stop whining and start ending the recession already without waiting for Uncle Sugar to save you. Right now he can't even save himself.

Crazy Al
Somewhere in Far West Texas


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