- New Party in Costa Rica;
- Revolution In America?;
- Beware A Con-Con;
- Letters to The Editor;
- Legislative Horror File;
- Obituary: Murray Rothbard;
- News From Across U.S.;
- Informants A Threat to Liberty;
- Intimidated into Silence;
- Classified Advertising;
- International Report;
- Rebel Summit in Hague;
FREEDOM NETWORK NEWS
Editor: Vincent H. Miller
Assistant Editors: James R. Elwood, Tim Starr, Mark Valverde
The International Society for Individual Liberty is an association of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a free and peaceful world, respect for individual rights and liberties, and an open and competitive economic system based on voluntary exchange and free trade. Members and affiliated organizations pursue this goal through independent action, using their freely chosen strategies. The association exists to promote the exchange of information and ideas, to study diverse strategies and to foster fellowship.
NEW POLITICAL PARTY FORMED IN COSTA RICA
“OUR MAIN GOAL IS ZERO TAXES”
As public outrage mounts over Costa Rican president Jos, Mara Figueres’ proposed tax hikes, a new political party, the Movimiento Libertario, has made its debut on the political scene. The new party’s founders Otto Guevara (the current president), Raœl Costales (former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida) and Dr. Rigoberto Stewart (current Secretary General and ISIL Representative for Costa Rica) say the reason they founded the Movimiento Libertario was to combat what they call Costa Rica’s emerging “state of crisis.” Dr. Stewart told journalists at the Tico Times on February 17th that Costa Rica was going down the drain and that nobody seemed to care – and that the two major parties were blindly carrying on as though economic collapse were `business as usual.’ “People living in democracies around the world are tired of 2-party systems,” he said. Dr. Stewart explained to remarkably sympathetic journalists the underlying theories of libertarianism – of self ownership, personal responsibility, property rights and limited government: “One of our main goals is to reach a state of zero taxes,” he said. “Governments force you to use your property against your will. That is immoral. The whole idea is that the government should be financed voluntarily. We cannot accept stolen money.” Dr. Stewart, 42, a native of the Atlantic port of Limon, holds a Ph.D in economics from North Carolina State University and has held high-level consultancy positions on agricultural policy for the World Bank as well as for various governments around the world – including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. He was head economist for Sigma One Corporation in El Salvador and has published numerous books and papers, as well as having been published in many newspapers and magazines.
Stewart, in his first report to ISIL, says that the first task facing the new Costa Rican libertarian movement is educational: to introduce a philosophy of economic and personal freedoms to the population at large. He advocates, among other thing, taking away “non-government functions” from government – e.g. the banking system, social security, pensions, education, insurance and petroleum refining.
NEW THINK TANK FORMED
To facilitate bringing the libertarian message to the Costa Rican public, INLAP, a new public policy think-tank (Institute for Liberty and the Analysis of Policy and Government) has been formed. Dr. Stewart, president of the new think-tank, reports that INLAP is a libertarian organisation fashioned along the lines of the Instituto Libertad Desarrollo of Chile.
“We plan to do a lot of policy research and to undertake a vigorous information campaign, since we know that the general public and most politicians are unaware of the tremendous social as well as economic costs of most of their interventionist policies,” explained Dr. Stewart. To this end, Dr. Stewart has been in regular contact with ISIL – as well as with our friends Perry Willis and Kiana Delamare at US Libertarian Party headquarters in DC. He has already translated some of ISIL’s pamphlets and has been working to establish contact with other ISIL Reps throughout South America.
BODY OF SPANISH LIBERTARIAN LITERATURE GROWS
Besides ISIL’s pamphlet series, a popular source of libertarian inspiration for Costa Ricans was David Bergland’s book Libertarianism In One Lesson. A remarkable boxed set of 25 classical-liberal booklets (25) Lecturas Sobre La Libertad) by such authors as Von Mises, Hayek, Locke, Mill, James Buchanan, Herbert Spencer, Milton Friedman and others that was translated by Peruvian libertarians for the Mario Vargas Llosa presidential campaign in Peru in 1990 and presented to ISIL by ISIL Rep Enrique, Ghersi of Peru, has been turned over to the new INLAP organisation. Dr. Stewart and INLAP will be cooperating in the exchange of Spanish-language libertarian materials and we will be informing ISIL members about the availability of these materials in future issues of the Freedom Network News. Members wishing to contact the Costa Rican libertarian movement or those wishing to provide assistance for translation of libertarian materials may contact Dr. Stewart or Sr. Guevara at:
Movimiento Libertario Sr. Otto Guevara, President P.O. Box 11286-1000 San Jose,, Costa Rica Tel: (506) 234-6710 INLAP Dr. Rigoberto Stewart, President Aparado Postal 1660-3000 Heredia, Costa Rica Tel/Fax: (506) 441-6995
IS AMERICA ON THE VERGE OF REVOLUTION?
“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, evinces a design to reduce (the people) under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” – ‘Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of independence’
There’s an old saying to the effect that there are three kinds of people in the world: Those who make things happen, Those who watch things happen, and Those who wonder what happened. In America of 1995 the vast majority of Americans, engrossed in O.J. Simpson trial proceedings appear to fall into category 3 – completely oblivious to the fact that a revolution is roiling beneath their very feet.
The truth is that the situation in the United States is rapidly approaching a meltdown. Not only is the economy on the rocks, with the dollar going into free-fall and debt threatening to consume the entire budget, but we now find ourselves teetering on the brink of open war with Washington, DC. Heavily-armed citizen militias are spreading across the land like prairie grass fires. Bitter hatred and loathing of the federal government is endemic. Rumours abound about an imminent armed clash between federal government agencies like the FBI, BATF and the citizen militias. Sales of Russian and Chinese military SKS rifles to the citizenry have reached panic-buying levels with millions of weapons and billions of rounds of ammunition being bought. There is talk of a bloody revolution in the air.
STATES PASSING 10TH AMENDMENT SOVEREIGNTY RESOLUTIONS
Almost all the States now find themselves at fierce loggerheads with Washington, DC over unfunded mandates and the storm-trooper tactics of out-of-control federal agencies. At the date of this newsletter no less than fourteen states have invoked Sovereignty Resolutions under the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution. The 10th Amendment states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Fed has grossly exceeded its constitutional authority and has turned its dogs loose on the people. Now the states, each having reached the limit of their endurance, are drawing lines in the sand with their sabres. At this point 10th Amendment Sovereignty Resolutions have been passed in both state houses in Colorado, Hawaii, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Montana, Arkansas, Indiana, Idaho, Illinois, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Kentucky.
10th Amendment Resolutions have been introduced, and in some cases passed in one house in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Connecticut, Vermont, Nebraska, Alaska, North Dakota, Georgia, Arizona, West Virginia, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Kansas, Maryland, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Texas, Mississippi, Nevada, and South Carolina. The resolution has sponsors in Maine, Utah, New York, Alabama, North Carolina, Wyoming, Rhode Island and Virginia. Only three states do not yet have this resolution on their agendas.
CITIZEN MILITIA MOVEMENT UNDER ATTACK BY FEDS
To many Americans the hideous massacre of 97 men, women and children at Waco and the deadly assault on the Weavers at Ruby Ridge by BATF and FBI agents have become the equivalent in American history to the Boston Massacre – the event that lit the fuse for the First American Revolution. Today, there is a wave of anger and outrage across the land – not only regarding the original assaults, but of the infamous “show trial” and persecution of the surviving Branch Davidians. No justice, no peace. So now a great many angry citizens, seeing no recourse, have formed citizen militias. Each is prepared to shoot it out with the federal government if that’s what it takes to defend their homes, families and liberties from Nazi-like federal thugs in rogue agencies such as the BATF or FBI.
TRAGEDY NARROWLY AVERTED
Just as we go to press, an event which could have touched off a major armed conflict appears to have been narrowly averted. During the past month reports have repeatedly appeared on the Internet and fax networks regarding a leak (presumably from a Justice Department insider) to the effect that FBI and BATF teams were planning paramilitary assaults on militia units across the country. Jack Wheeler in Strategic Investment confirmed the rather startling news that all leaves and vacations had been cancelled for BATF/FBI personnel across the country, as well as for various State Police and National Guard units, including California’s. Wheeler revealed that the Army’s infamous Joint Task Force Six (which did the training for Waco) has been training BATF jack-booters in the use of Bradley Assault Vehicles at Fort Bliss, Texas.
He went on to state that government agent provocateurs were reportedly planning to incriminate militias by planting fully automatic rifles and heavy weapons like rocket launchers, on the property of militia leaders. Every militia in the country – and there are hundreds of them, many of which are well-armed and well-led by former or even active-duty officers – have been in a state of Red Alert ever since. “Should Attorney General Janet Reno be stupid enough to actually attack them militarily, there is going to be a lot of blood,” said Wheeler. In the tense days before the target date of March 25th/26th, Tom Wyld, Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA/ ILA) queried Attorney General Janet Reno and Justice department officials in an emergency courier-delivered letter asking them to either confirm or disprove these rumours.
To this date there has been no reply from either the Justice Department or the Treasury Department.
On March 22, Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) sent an emergency letter to Janet Reno warning of the dire consequences that such actions might produce. In his letter he wrote: “It has come to my attention through a number of reliable sources that an impending raid, by several Federal Agencies, against the `citizen’s militias’ groups, is scheduled for March 25 or 26 at 4:00 am. A paramilitary-style attack against Americans who pose no risk to others, even if violations of criminal Law might be imputed to them, would run the risk of an irreparable breach between the Federal Government and the public, especially if it turned out to be an ill-considered, poorly planned, but bloody fiasco like Waco.
“While information is scarce, it is known that Joint Task Force Six, with headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas is co-ordinating the military training, including the use of tanks and other armoured vehicles, for certain Federal Law Enforcement agencies in possible violation of the Posse Comitatus Law, 18 U.S.C. 1385. .”.In the hours before the impending attacks, Internet sources confirmed that no less than six US senators had voiced their deep concern that such measures could have extremely dangerous consequences. Happily this violent confrontation did not occur – but it does give some Indication of just how dangerously explosive the situation in this country has become.
BEWARE! A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION COULD BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR LIBERTIES
By Vincent H. Miller
As the movements for State Sovereignty gain momentum across America,there have been and will continue to be attempts to stop or sidetrack this historic movement to devolve power away from central governments. One attempt, a clever but insidious device created by Governor Michael Leavitt (R-UT) last year, calls for a special Conference of States (COS). This idea has been picked up and amplified by a lobbying organisation known as the Council of State Governments (CSG), which may be thought of as the ultimate government lobbying agency. Its members, whose memberships are paid for by tax dollars, belong to all levels of government, from state to county to city. State Senator Charles Duke (R-CO) in a recent email to ISIL warned that an officially-sanctioned meeting by 38 states has the power, if it wishes, to turn itself into a full-blown Constitutional Convention by simply passing a resolution to that effect. It derives this power from the Tenth Amendment, which fundamentally says that states have any power they wish, so long as it is not prohibited by the Constitution. Late last year, the idea of the COS was endorsed by the National Governor’s Conference. CSG members spoke of the need for “fundamental, structural, long-term changes to government being necessary.” (Yes, but what kind of changes will these corrupt power-brokers ratify?? – Ed.) “In general,” Duke warned, alluding to their designs, “Philadelphia II promoters are moving in the opposite direction from state sovereignty.”
At this point 32 states have made requests for a Constitutional Convention by passing joint resolutions in their state legislative bodies. The proposal is that the states would meet at Philadelphia (Philadelphia II) and replace the current constitution with the New States Constitution. ISIL members may recall that Jarret Wollstein and I in our “New Declaration of Independence” published about three years ago, called for, among other things, a Constitutional Convention. However, we very quickly came to view this as a dangerous tactic and many of our members called and wrote to warn us of the consequences such an action might unleash. Wollstein’s remarks at the time were: “Given the current moral climate in this country, the `people’ are much more likely to ratify the Communist Manifesto than an improved libertarian document.”
US Supreme Chief Justice Warren Burger (now retired) in a letter that has been circulating on the fax networks has shared his thoughts on the matter: “I have repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention.
The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress `for that sole and express purpose.’ “With George Washington as chairman, they were able to deliberate in total secrecy, with no press coverage and no leaks. A Constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special- interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation.
“Our 1787 Constitution was referred to by several of its authors as a `miracle.’ Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risks involved. A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn, with no assurance that focus would be on the subjects needing attention …”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PLEASE, NO CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION!
I find ISIL materials most interesting. However, I do wish to comment on your “New Declaration of Independence”. I believe that, while your intentions are of the most noble kind, your methods include a dangerous and unnecessary step – specifically, your call for a Constitutional Convention. A U.S. Constitutional Convention has never been called since the first one was held in 1787. If a ConCon is ever called, every item in the Constitution becomes fair game for those who want to change this brilliant document that limits governmental authority. I believe this would be a catastrophic error. Regardless of the current system of abuse and oppression, the Constitution is still in place and still represents the law of the land. It is true that people’s Rights have been violated by those in power – from the Office of the President to the Judiciary to the police. However, discarding the Constitution will only invite these violations into the realm of law, while now they are clearly the acts of political criminals. The solution to the problems in America today is for the People to rise up and tell the government that they will no longer cooperate with them; that they will not obey laws which violate the intent of our Founding Fathers and the U.S. (or State) Constitutions.
If the People refuse to acknowledge those in authority as having power over them, then the government will fall and the People will rule. This is how America was founded and this is still the law of the land in America: government by consent of the governed.
I strongly suggest you abandon your call for a Constitutional Convention, as such an event would signal the downfall of freedom in America. I believe your endorsement of a ConCon raises the question of credibility with respect to the true intent of the libertarian movement. Brent Johnson. Director Freedom Bound Common Law Services 228 Commercial Street, Ste. 1776 Nevada City, California Republic USA
EDITOR’S NOTE: The New Declaration came under immediate fire as soon as it was published three years ago for exactly this reason. Jarret Wollstein, co-framer of this document, commented at the time that if a Constitutional Convention were to be held today the “People” would be far more likely to ratify the Communist Manifesto than an improved libertarian document. I concur. See also remarks by former Chief Justice Warren Burger on this subject in the editorial in this issue.
CANADIAN LIBERTARIAN PARTY LEADER COMMENTS ON REFORM PARTY
Scott Reid’s advertisement for the Reform Party in the recent Freedom Network News should have carried a more accurate sub-title such as “Conservatives in Designer Clothing”.
Reform policies are arrived at by the membership voting for what they want or don’t want, etc.; and as such rarely have much to do with “principles”. What is a “sacred trust” today can be voted out at the next convention the same as with any of the other large Parties in Canada. While Mr. Reid may be of a libertarian mind, his party is nowhere near being libertarian. He proves this where he notes that his Party’s position on “moral” issues would be decided by an opinion poll (referendum) rather than by following a principle. But the Party would not necessarily comply with the results of the poll either.
In 1994 it held a phone-in poll on the subject of legalizing assisted suicide with the majority of callers being in favor. When asked whether this would become Reform policy, their leader said it would not necessarily happen. I agree with Mr. Reid that the Canadian media are ill-informed about libertarian philosophy. The media’s perceptions are no more ill-informed than his when it comes to the libertarian point of view regarding social tolerance. Reform is no different than other more socialist Parties in Canada when it comes to state-run health care, government pensions, gay rights, decriminalisation of drugs, and immigration etc. They believe the government has a major role to play in these matters.
This is in direct conflict with the resolution he noted as his Party’s “first principle” which, if acted on, would be a good change. The substance of this resolution was lifted from the Libertarian Party of Canada’s Statement of Principles – which we don’t change with each convention of the Party faithful. Many “principles” adopted by Reform have fallen by the wayside. Reform MPs in the West are recently caught in a battle between farmers who wish to directly export their grain and those who wish to retain the government marketing board. Instead of following their professed belief in the principles of free trade, they want to have a referendum on the subject. Reform grew in the West by saying it would never go east of the Manitoba/Ontario border thereby ensuring “the West” had a voice in Ottawa. They did just that for the last election.
They also said they would never set up shop in Quebec until that province saw things the Reform way. Quebec elected a separatist provincial government but Reform moved in to set up shop anyway. Despite the negatives, Reform has adopted some libertarian ideas and also shown that it is possible to make major gains against the big parties. Implying that the Reform Party is full of libertarians is outright fraud. It is definitely not a libertarian party and will become less so as they have to choose between conflicting policies and principles that lead to unpopular policies. Their track record to date shows it will be a “principles be damned” choice.
Readers wishing to learn more about the Libertarian Party of Canada which is made up of libertarians in libertarian clothing should contact us at:
Suite 301, 1 St. Johns Rd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6P 4C7 Hillary Cox, Leader of Libertarian Party of Canada.
I have always been made sad when I have heard members of any race claiming rights and privileges, or certain badges of distinction, on the ground simply that they were members of this or that race, regardless of their own individual worth or attainments.
Booker T. Washington
LEGISLATIVE HORROR FILE
If you thought Bill & Hillary were bad. Wait till you see what the team of Bill & Newt have in store for you! THE OMNIBUS COUNTER-TERRORISM BILL (S390/HR896) will allow Clinton to send in the troops on political groups – like the LP or ISIL
This one is a beauty. As the title suggests it is ostensibly intended to counter international terrorism by giving sweeping powers to the police and military. However, as with so much of today’s legislation, the title has a devious Orwellian twist. Under this act the president will have the arbitrary power to determine just who is a “terrorist” – a determination which is not subject to appeal. Any group can be Targeted by presidential whim – regardless of the legitimate activity they might pursue. The range of activities targeted include real acts of international terrorism (attempts, threats or conspiracies) as well as activities such as giving funds for humanitarian or legal activity. If you believe that the powers unleashed in this bill will be used solely against international terrorists, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. Necessarily, organisations the government finds offensive (like libertarians?) would be prime candidates to be targeted. The bill applies both to citizens and non-citizens alike. Some of the more unpleasant police-state implications of this legislation are:It authorises secret trials for immigrants who are not charged with a crime but rather who are accused of supporting lawful activity by organisations which have also been accused of committing illegal acts.
People to be deported would be chosen specifically because of their political associations and beliefs. — It would allow up to 10-year prison sentences for citizens and deportation for permanent resident aliens for the “crime” of supporting the lawful activities of an organisation the President declares to be “terrorist.” — It suspends posse comitatus – allowing the president to call in the military to aid the police – regardless of other laws. — It reverses the presumption of innocence, and the accused are to be presumed ineligible for bail and can be detained indefinitely until trial. — It loosens the rules for wiretaps. While many provisions of this bill could well be found unconstitutional after years of litigation, the damage in the meantime could be enormous to the First Amendment and other constitutional rights – including presumption of innocence and right to bail.
The Omnibus Counter-terrorism Bill was introduced on February 10, 1995 as S390 into the Senate and as HR896 in the House. It was initiated by the FBI, and passed on by the Justice Department and the White House. Senators Joseph R. Biden, (D-DE) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) initiated it in the Senate, Reps. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Norm Dicks (D-WA) in the House.
Posted to the Internet by
Kit Gage Washington Liaison, National Lawyers Guild 3321-12th St., NE, Washington DC 20017 202-529-4225, fax 202-526-4611, e-mail: email protected
THE COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT (S314) requires monitoring of your phone and BBS communications
This act was introduced in early February by Senators J. James Exon (D-NE) and Slade Gorton (R-WA), would place substantial criminal liability on telecommunications carriers (including traditional telephone networks, Internet service providers, commercial online services such as America Online and CompuServe, and independent BBS’s) whenever their networks are used to transmit any material which the government deems to be “indecent” or “harassing.” This is clearly a heavy-handed attempt to censor and control e electronic communications – particularly the Internet which is one of the last remaining bastions of free expression left in America. In order to avoid Draconian penalties and fines of ten years in prison and/or $100,000, which are threatened under this legislation, carriers will be forced into the position of having to severely restrict the activities of their subscribers. Online activities, including access to Email, discussion lists, Usenet, the World Wide Web, and Gopher will be curtailed. FTP archives will be substantially reduced – or cut off entirely.
The bill will intimidate providers into closely monitoring and pre-screening your electronic mail, and refusing to transmit any message or other communication that some prudish government busybody may consider to be “indecent.” This bill poses a significant threat to freedom of speech and the free flow of information in cyberspace. The bill also raises fundamental questions about the right of the government to control content on communications networks, as well as the locus of liability for content carried in these new communications media.
THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE REFORM ACT (HR666) authorises area-wide, warrantless searches
Now here’s a bill with an ominously appropriate number. It bears the innocuous title of “The Exclusionary Rule Reform Act.” This bill, if passed , will have the effect of permitting area-wide warrantless searches and seizures against all but those few persons able to afford a costly defence, by effectively putting the burden of proof on the victim. It should be noted that the 4th Amendment which is supposed to protect Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures is already being routinely flouted on a grand scale via Civil Asset Forfeiture – but this bill would formalise it and pound yet another nail in the coffin of the Bill of Rights.
Interestingly, much of the nastier elements of this bill originated in HR4079 which was introduced by Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and 42 co-sponsors in 1990. Among other things, it called for the suspension of the Bill of Rights and the installation of martial law. Other niceties included suspension of habeas corpus, conducting door-to-door sweeps for guns or drugs and re-opening WW-II concentration camps.
MURRAY N. ROTHBARD AMERICA’S PREMIER FREE-MARKET ECONOMIST DIES AT AGE 68
By Jarret Wollstein
Dr. Murray N. Rothbard – champion of liberty and the free market – died from a heart attack in New York City on January 7, 1995. Dr. Rothbard was the author of 25 books and thousands of articles, and was a powerful voice for economic liberty and individual rights.I was privileged to know Murray for over thirty years. I remember him as brilliant, incredibly well-informed, and a person who took an intense joy in life and ideas. At 68, his mind was as sharp as it was when I first met him at 38. I met Murray in the early 1960s, shortly after the publication of his 987-page economic magnum opus, Man, Economy and State, one of the great economic works of the 20th Century. Based upon the free market Austrian economics of Rothbard’s mentor, Ludwig von Mises, Man, Economy and State clearly demonstrates the tremendous benefits of the free market and makes an overwhelming case for separating state and economy.
As Rothbard stated, “The workings of the voluntary principle and of the free market lead inexorably to freedom, prosperity, harmony, efficiency, and order; While coercion and government intervention lead inexorably to hegemony, conflict, exploitation of man by man, inefficiency, poverty and chaos.” In direct contradiction to interventionist Keynesian economics – which continues to be popular with our political leaders, both Democrat and Republican – Rothbard clearly demonstrated in Man, Economy and State that government intervention inevitably destroys economic prosperity.
Rothbard shows how the complex mathematical analyses that Keynesian econo-mists use to justify government economic regulation, are really just smoke and mirrors, without either theoretical or empirical validity. Rothbard’s total rejection of Keynesian economics has been validated in many ways during the last 30 years, but most dramatically by the simultaneous inflation and recession America experienced under Richard Nixon – which Keynesian economics says is impossible.
With the publication of Man, Economy and State, Murray Rothbard firmly established himself as America’s premier free-market economist. This work and Rothbard’s other major economic books were a major driving force behind the revival of free-market economics in America.
Unfortunately, because of the overwhelming dominance of the economic profession by Keynesians and Marxists, Rothbard never received the fame or fortune he so well deserved for his work. For many years he worked in a phone-booth-size, windowless office at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, surrounded by Marxists.That didn’t discourage Murray in the slightest. His passion was always ideas and the pursuit of truth. So long as he was free to think and write, he seemed content. Murray’s legacy is his enormous Intellectual accomplishments that span many fields, including economics, history, ethics, and politics.
Dr. Rothbard was also a founder of the free-market Cato Institute, a former official of the Libertarian Party, and the editor of a half-dozen newsletters, throughout his long career, most recently the Rothbard-Rockwell Report. Although he was active in several libertarian groups, Murray later became a harsh critic of the Libertarian Party, because he perceived many of its members as embracing anti-Christian, hippie values; and of the Cato Institute, which he believed became soft on big government after moving to Washington, D.C. Thus Rothbard writes, “The first thing is for any conservative or free-market group or institution to be principled . . . and fervently anti-Washington, and to avoid like the plague Beltway-itis, either in form or content. That is, to denounce rather than cultivate the Corridors of Power, and to call for principled and radical change rather than marginal reform, change that is clearly anti-Washington and anti-federal power.”
Murray’s life was defined by his pursuit of knowledge and liberty. He was never afraid to say what he truly believed. While fully aware of the frightening growth of big government in America and the great odds against advocates of freedom prevailing, he never stopped fighting for the values he believed in. As he commented in the September issue of the Rothbard-Rockwell Report: “One shouldn’t think of the process of fighting the enemy as dour gloom and misery. On the contrary, it is highly inspiring and invigorating to take up arms against a sea of troubles instead of meeting them in supine surrender, and by opposing, perhaps to end them, and if not at least to give it a good try, to get in one’s licks. “And finally, what the heck, if you fight the enemy, you might win! Think of the brave fighters against communism in Poland and the Soviet Union who never gave up, who fought on against seemingly impossible odds, and then, bingo, one day Communism collapsed.
Certainly the chances of winning are a lot greater if you put up a fight than if you simply give up.” Scholar, social commentator, crusader, Dr. Murray Rothbard was a champion of liberty in every sense of the word. He leaves the world a much richer place. His legacy of ideas will endure for many generations.
This article originally appeared in the Financial Privacy Report (2-95) and is reprinted with their permission. One year introductory subscription (12 issues) $96. Order from Financial Privacy Report, P.O. box 1277, Burnsville, MN 55337 612/895-5526. VISA, MasterCard and American Express accepted.
BOOKS BY MURRAY ROTHBARD
America’s Great Depression. An explanation of how government intervention – not the free market – caused the Depression of 1929. $19.95
FOR A NEW LIBERTY: The Libertarian Manifesto. A spirited and highly readable defence of economic and personal liberty. This is also a comprehensive explanation of how the free market can solve problems ranging from crime to education to foreign aggression …… $12.95.
MAN, ECONOMY AND STATE. A comprehensive exploration of the nature of human action and the principles of free-market economics. In this book, Rothbard presents his original new model of an ideal economy free of government intervention – the evenly rotating economy. Rothbard also clearly demonstrates that economic problems like shortages, depression, monopoly, and unemployment are the result of government intervention, not the free market. ………………………………….. $24.95
POWER AND MARKET. This is a catalogue of the harmful effects of government economic intervention, including price controls, taxes, tariffs, and government-maintained monopolies, like public utilities. (supply limited)…………………………….. Paper $9.95, Cloth $19.95
WHAT HAS THE GOVERNMENT DONE TO OUR MONEY? A clear and concise explanation of the destructive effects of monetary policy and the federal reserve system. ……………………………………………… $4.95
SOON TO BE PUBLISHED: Dr. Rothbard’s comprehensive history of economic thought is scheduled for publication early this year. Llewellyn Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute calls it “the Most important work of its kind.” This spring, a 1,000 page, two-volume compilation of Dr. Rothbard’s most important economic articles will also be published. These books by Dr. Rothbard are available from ISIL’s: Freedom’s Forum Books 1800 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102 Tel: (415) 864-0952 Fax: (415) 864-7506 We accept VISA or MasterCard Shipping: $3 to first $10, 10% above $10
AN ARGENTINIAN MOURNS LOSS OF DR. MURRAY ROTHBARD
It was terrible for me to hear of the untimely death of Professor Murray Rothbard. I have read many of his works and I have even translated “For A New Liberty” into Spanish with the hope that by spreading his ideas we may improve our lives in the Spanish-speaking countries of South and Central America. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find a publisher.
I visited Professor Rothbard at his office at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. He was full of life, good humour, wisdom and exuded a love of inquiry, writing, and teaching. The West is turning to socialism. In my country, Argentina, it has become intolerable. Lamentably the ideas of Murray Rothbard are not listened to – or applied. I know that he was writing a terrific book about the history of economic thought. I sincerely hope that he finished this book; it is badly needed. I am so sad to hear of his death. We have lost a great Man, Thinker, and Teacher; the Economy has lost its best and most advanced expert – and the damned state has lost its worst enemy. I think that all the people who have learned anything from Murray will be in his debt. I know he helped me so very much. The best expression of our gratitude shall be to multiply our efforts by spreading the ideas of Mr. Libertarian: Professor Murray N. Rothbard. Jaime Jose Cornejo Yofre, Salta, Argentina. It will be published later this year, according to the Von Mises Institute – Ed.
NEWS FROM ACROSS THE U.S. “All the news the establishment med won’t print”
ARMED SHOWDOWN WITH FEDS BY SUMMER?
“THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN NO LONGER BE TRUSTED WE ARE FORMING PRIVATE ARMIES.”
EL DORADO COUNTY – Throughout the state of California, angry citizens are forming combat-ready militias to protect themselves against a government they believe to be dangerously out of touch with its citizens. Harry Infalt, a mild-mannered retiree of 67 and interim Commander of the Unorganized Militia of El Dorado County, exclaimed: “There are 77,000 registered voters in this county. We hope to sign up about 10% of them – we are going to have people in every precinct in this county.” Allen Westerson, a medical electrical engineer and former reserve Los Angeles police officer who serves as captain of El Dorado County’s Georgetown militia said, “We are losing our freedom by degrees, and I think it’s time for a big no.”
Despite all the rumours about UN takeovers, government crackdowns, “black helicopters” and hidden troops, most militia members seem to have joined the movement because of dissatisfaction with US policies and politics. This movement certainly has touched a nerve in California. Currently there are 27 different militia units operating in 22 counties from San Diego in the South to Redding in the north Central Valley. All agree that the U.S. government can no longer be trusted to defend and protect the Constitution.
“Our whole political system is perverse, ” exclaimed Mike Howse, commander of a militia unit in Fort Bragg. He went on to explain that: “In every country where the government has succeeded In taking firearms away from the citizenry, they have been reduced to slavery or chattel.” Militias have been careful to avoid the redneck, white-supremicist stereotyping used so often by the government-controlled media nowadays. Howse noted that his unit recently turned down an offer of land to use for manoeuvres from a white supremacist. “That’s not what we are about,” he was quick to explain.
Excerpted from an article in the San Francisco Examiner, Sunday, March 12, 1995
GOVERNMENT BACKS DOWN ON CHARGES AGAINST TAIWANESE FARMER ========================================================= FRESNO
In the face of massive public protest, and mounting outrage, the Federal Government has dropped all criminal charges against Taung Ming-Lin, the 52-year-old Taiwanese immigrant who became a cause celebre after being charged with running over a rat with his tractor. If convicted he could have received three years in jail and been fined $300,000. The federal government claimed that Ming-Lin’s farm was home to several endangered species, including the kangaroo rat.
CITY COUNCIL TURNS DOWN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR POLICE
After reviewing the long-term financial implications for the City of Sunnyvale, the City Council decided not to accept federal grant funds intended to support the hiring of additional local police officers. Although the goal of the federal grant program under the recent crime bill is to assist cities in putting more officers on the street across the country, the cost to Sunnyvale would end up being far greater than the benefits for us, said Chief of Public Safety Regan Williams.
The City’s analysis showed that, over a ten-year period, it would have to spend more than $6.3 million to support the six public-safety officers that would have been added, yet the federal grants would pay a maximum of only $450,000. This would be a very expensive grant for the City to receive, and it could be used only for the programs authorised by the federal government. By not accepting the funds, the City has far greater flexibility to address public-safety needs as they are determined locally, not by Washington.
“We are always interested in finding ways to help support projects and programs which improve the safety of our community,” said Williams. “We also have to be careful, however, that such support doesn’t come with too many strings attached.” Seen on LiberNet Digest – posted by Jeff Chan From Sunnyvale Quarterly Report, January 1995 District of Columbia
MISSILES DISAPPEARING FROM GOVERNMENT ARMOURIES?
Military intelligence sources have reported that large numbers of ground-to-air missiles are disappearing from government armouries across the country. This adds credence to a report in the last issue of the Freedom Network News to the effect that arms were “leaking like a Sieve from government stockpiles” – allegedly into the hands of citizen militia groups. Further confirmation of this development was reported on the Internet in February when Congress’s General Accounting Office reported that no fewer than 9,744 Dragon ground-to-air missiles were unaccounted for. A US Army spokesman explained that “it was all a paperwork problem and that there are `no reports’ of any missiles being lost.” Yeah, sure. Ed
CATO SPOKESMAN ATTACKS PUBLIC BROADCASTING
Cato Institute staff member Sheldon Richman , testifying before Congress on January 21, presented a concise Constitutional argument against taxpayer funding of the Public Broadcasting System. This testimony was broadcast by C-SPAN, but it’s the first time many of us can recall seeing such a direct, public challenge to Congressional “discretionary authority,” especially in a formal testimony to a Congressional sub-committee. Constitutional objections to the vast array of government activities are getting increased media coverage, but those who challenge the status quo are still treated as oddballs or fringe nuts. Gary Olson, who posted this report on the Libernet Digest remarked: “I don’t think Richman’s testimony had any direct effect on the Congressmen who heard it. His task is akin to teaching global navigation principles to members of the Flat Earth Society.”
FEDERAL DEBT OUT OF CONTROL
John G. Otto gives us an update on the current Federal debt: The debt load is just under $73,000 for a typical family of four. Having to pay such an enormous bill – on top of existing taxes and expenses – is rapidly plunging such a family into the most wretched and miserable poverty. And it’s only getting worse. By some estimates, this debt load will rise to just under $100,000 within another two years. As secessionist movements gain momentum, and proposals to dissolve the Federal government (as in the Ultimatum Resolution) gain supporters, the question such families will have to ask themselves is: Are we willing to pay $73,000 (or $100,000) for the privilege of being ruled over by Washington, DC?
FBI RAPID DEPLOYMENT AN ASSAULT ON LOCAL SOVEREIGNTY ====================================================
House Bill HR97 which relates to the formation of a new FBI Rapid Deployment Force, was introduced by Rep. Barbara Bailey Kennelly (D-CT) and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill, which calls for the creation of a new unit comprising some 2,500 FBI agents, represents an attempt to federalize local police activities across the country and further centralise the nation’s Police powers in Washington, DC. These units which are to work hand in hand with local police are seen by many to be a thinly veiled attempt to usurp local sovereignty. Another ominous aspect of this plan is that the information gathered by such operations would immediately be passed on to other branches of the federal government besides the FBI (DEA, INS, etc.) for the purpose of conducting civil asset forfeitures. Normally, local jurisdictions are loath to pass information developed in narc operations to other agencies so that they can make the busts and haul in the plundered loot for themselves.
Under this plan, they still get the credit, but the feds get the info, facilitating federal busts and asset forfeitures as an adjunct to the actual deployment operation.
COURT DENIES APPEAL IN CHILD PORN CASE ======================================
The Supreme Court recently let stand a ruling that a federal child pornography law can be applied to videotapes even if the filmed models never appear in the nude and do not engage in sexual acts. The Justices denied an appeal in a child pornography case that has caused political controversy and internal disagreements for the Clinton administration. The case involved Stephen Knox, a graduate student at Penn State University who was convicted in 1991 under the federal child pornography law. Federal agents seized videotapes from his apartment.
The tapes showed teenage girls, wearing bathing suits, leotards or panties and spreading their legs. The camera often zoomed in on the girls’ genital areas. Knox became the first person to be found guilty under the law for possessing depictions of children who were not nude. In appealing to the Supreme Court to hear the case, Knox’s attorneys said the videotapes had amateur models in poses “no different from what one would commonly find in fashion magazines or see on television (or) in gymnastic meets.” They argued that the decision in the case “will unquestionably have a chilling effect upon legitimate publishers,” in violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment free-speech rights. The Clinton Justice Department, switching its position, urged the Supreme Court in a brief signed by Attorney General Janet Reno to reject Knox’s arguments. Seen on Libernet Digest January 17, 1995 Georgia.
CHEROKEE COUNTY REBUKES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ==========================================
CHEROKEE COUNTY – The crushing burden of federal mandates has stirred a strong and growing backlash against Washington’s tyrannical and costly edicts by city, county, and state governments across the country. Nowhere has this reaction been stated more strongly and emphatically than in Georgia’s Cherokee County, a bedroom community north of Atlanta. On October 11th, the Cherokee County Commission, by vote of four to one, enacted an ordinance that not only affirmed the Tenth Amendment, but adopted the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as the law of the land in Cherokee County. The ordinance states, in part: “Whereas the Constitution for the United States of America is, by the will of the American people, the supreme Law of the Land . . . . “Now therefore, be it enacted . . . that the Constitution for the United States of America and its first ten Articles in Amendment, more commonly known as the `Bill of Rights,’ be adopted in its entirety as the Statute and Ordinance of Cherokee County, Georgia . . .”. It is significant that this is not merely a resolution, but an ordinance – or law – of Cherokee County. “An ordinance has more bite than a resolution,” said Commissioner J. J. Biello, who introduced the ordinance. “We’re adopting the Constitution as it was adopted by the Founding Fathers.” Another Commissioner, Gil Howard, said: “This ordinance is a political statement that the federal government has overreached its limits.” Like a great many local officials, Gil Howard is especially angry over “unfunded mandates” which are causing local taxes to skyrocket while scarce resources that should be going for police, fire, and other priorities are, because of state and federal edicts, squandered on projects and policies that offer no benefit to the people. “
Unfunded mandates are the most cowardly form of taxation imaginable. They are the product of cowards in the state and federal government who want to force local officials to impose regulations and taxation that they do not have the courage to impose themselves.” The citizen who sparked the Cherokee County constitutional ordinance is businessman David K. Straight of Canton, Georgia. Inspired by the passage of Colorado’s Tenth Amendment Resolution early in 1994, Mr. Straight determined to do the same locally. He decided, however, to up the ante by reaffirming the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights in the form of an ordinance.
Straight is an eloquent and forceful spokesman for the principles of limited, constitutional government and Individual rights, but it took more than pretty words to organise the grassroots citizens’ campaign that resulted in the ordinance. Straight invested about $12,000 of his own money and countless hours in the effort. And he is freely sharing the lessons he learned in that campaign with local officials and private citizens from across the nation who want to send the same message to Washington and their state capitals.
Due largely to Straight’s appearances on radio talk shows, other counties in Georgia and around the country are now aiming to follow Cherokee County’s lead. Straight said that: “Thanks to the results of the elections we have much, much better chances of seeing efforts like this duplicated all over America.” Seen in Wake-Up Call America, Greg Carroll, Editor, 7625 W. 5th Avenue, Ste. 200E, Lakewood, CO 80226 Fax (303) 275-9132
GEORGIA GOVERNMENT SCHOOL SYSTEM A DISASTER
ALBANY – A businessman in Albany recently complained that he cannot get qualified workers for his aircraft plant even though he offers a free training program and $7.50 per hour to start. The owner of Ayres Corp., Fred Ayres, says that Albany area school system pupils are “undereducated and undermotivated.” “I get high school graduates from our Dougherty County school system and they can’t understand fractions, work with decimals, or read a simple blueprint. It’s like they’ve been warehoused for 12 years and given a diploma for showing up.” In an embarrassingly revealing statement the associate school superintendent, Alfredo Stokes, responded that Dougherty County school students “measure up to any graduates from any other school system in Georgia.” He went on to say that a high school diploma is not a guarantee that someone can read, write, or use basic maths skills to an employer’s satisfaction. “High school is just an interim level of education,” Stokes said.
The average education expenditure in Georgia was $5,500 per year per student ($11,500 per student in areas where the students perform poorly– the worse a school performs, the more it is rewarded). This means that even though they pay $66,000 (12 x $5,500) to educate a student in our socialist school system, there are no guarantees that when a student finishes he will be able to read. $66,000 is about what the new top-of-the-line Mercedes sedan costs. Would you buy a new one if there was no guarantee that the engine would start? Since high school is now an interim level of education in Georgia, I guess the taxpayers will have to start paying another $60K or so per student to send them all to college. Where else can we expect them to learn to read and write? Seen on Libernet Digest Posted by Brian McInturff February 14, 1995 Kentucky
KENTUCKY CLAIMS SOVEREIGNTY RIGHTS
FRANKFORT – Kentucky has now added its name to the growing number of states reclaiming their sovereign rights and putting the federal government on notice that they will not continue meekly to accept Washington’s usurpations of power and unconstitutional interference.
Aimed at reining in a federal government run amok, the sovereignty resolutions being signed by so many states are based on the Tenth Amendment of the US constitution, which states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Kentucky State Senator Richard Roeding remarked: “those words were intended by our Founders to guard against the very abuses of power by the federal government that are so prevalent today.” Seen in Wake-up Call America. Michigan
CARS SEIZED OVER CIGARETTES
Trailer Life, a monthly RV magazine probably does not know that it is a libertarian publication. It has recently run articles on RVers rights to carry firearms in their trailers or motorhomes and the quagmire of Federal, State and local laws prohibiting their possession or use. The December 1994 issue reports on a Michigan law banning possession of more than $50 worth of out-of-state cigarettes (Michigan has a 75 cent per pack tax). The “offence” is a felony and “violators” may have their vehicles confiscated. Nevada
US GOVERNMENT SUING NYE COUNTY IN JURISDICTION BATTLE OVER PUBLIC LAND
In an attempt to block a groundswell of Western US counties challenging federal jurisdiction over public lands, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit on March 8th against Nye County in Nevada asking a federal judge to formally declare that the federal government indeed owns the land. The suit against Nye County, which federal lawyers view as the most aggressive of the counties challenging Washington’s presence and authority, also sought a permanent injunction barring county officials from intimidating and interfering with federal authorities. Some 35 counties in the West have passed ordinances asserting control over national forest and other federal lands since 1991 in the so-called County Supremacy Movement, also known as Sagebrush Rebellion II, and another 35 are considering such measures.
Ed Presley of the County Alliance to Restore the Economy and Environment in Las Vegas explains that a substantial number of U.S. Supreme Court cases have held that title to public lands is vested in individual states. “The key moment in Nevada occurred when the state was admitted to the union in 1864 under the `equal footing doctrine.’”
Nye County Commissioner Dick Carver in an interview last year in The Jubilee told reporters: “We are certain that the public lands were passed to the state when the state was admitted into the union under the `Equal Footing Doctrine.’ There are NO federal lands out here, there are STATE public lands. The problem is that the feds have convinced the people that these lands belong to the US government. We’ve been educated all our lives that the supreme power is the federal government and that they can do whatever they want.” Carver said. “But that’s not true when you dig into it.”
OHIO COUPLE ANTICIPATE ARMED SHOWDOWN BETWEEN STATE MILITIAS AND FEDS
“Will it eventually come down to an armed conflict?” asked Columbus, Ohio reporter Darrel Rowland. There was a long pause. “Yeah – and it scares the heck out of me,” was the reply from James Johnson, leader of Ohio’s Unorganized Militia. “When this blows, a lot of us will die, a lot of us will be injured for life, and a lot of us will be in jail. But eventually we will be free again.” Freedom is a word that flowed often from the lips of this self-styled leader of Ohio’s Unorganized Militia. Johnson, who coordinates units in more than 50 of Ohio’s 88 counties from his Hilltop home, is far from being alone in America. He has become part of a movement that has mushroomed across the nation over the past year. Citizens upset about what they view as a wholesale attack on their constitutional rights by the federal government – especially their right to bear arms – have organised loose-knit militia units from Florida and Texas to Montana and Michigan. Johnson says their goal is simple: “Restoration of constitutional government in the United States.” “It all started when I read the Declaration of Independence, and I realised that the grievances the American colonists had against the king were the same as we have today. I firmly believe the US government today holds our Constitution in contempt.” Johnson, a black man, noted with amusement that some people (particularly in the media) label militias as right-wing, white-supremacist groups. “If my ancestors had been armed, they wouldn’t have been slaves,” he said. “That is the genuine fear of many Americans – that they are being led down the path to slavery.”
Johnson and his wife Helen, who home- school their three children, cited a recent example in which the police conducted warrantless door-to-door searches in a housing complex to root out crime. “If they get away with it there, it won’t be long until they’re knocking on your middle-class door,” Mrs. Johnson said. “One of the reasons we exist is to prevent the government from using military tactics against citizens in the name of law enforcement.” “I believe the federal government will eventually push the American public to the point of noncompliance. I saw this happening before the summer of 1995.” Mr. Johnson stressed that the militia is not a vigilante group and will not provoke a confrontation. “The other side will determine when we act,” he said. “We will not give the call to action. Our opponents will. But we will not give up the sovereignty of this nation or its Constitution without a fight. There will come a day in this nation when citizens who once thought we were radical will be glad there was an entity called the Ohio Unorganized Militia.”
Excerpted from an interview by Staff Reporter Darrel Rowland in the Columbus Dispatch
POLICE HERO HARASSED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT BUREAUCRATS
Many ISIL members called to express their delight when we reported on Cincinnati police Lieutenant Harry Thomas’ fiery attacks on Attorney General Janet Reno and Clinton’s Draconian gun control measures in the Sept/Oct Freedom Network News. The closing words of his address to a police association (after he had unequivocally declared his refusal to abide by any of the obnoxious decrees of Congress) are here reproduced again: “And Miss Reno, I have this to say to you: If you send your jack-booted baby-burning bushwhackers to confiscate my guns, pack them a lunch; it will be a damned long day. The Branch Davidians were amateurs; I’m a professional.” In a letter to American Handgunner magazine Lt. Thomas reported: “. . . My chief was infuriated at my publicity refuting his `less guns equals less crime’ BS that he’d been feeding the public, and the battle was on. It has raged unabated for over six years.
“I’ve been transferred, I’ve been reprimanded, I’ve been brought up on trumped-up departmental charges and suspended without pay. And finally one of my own assistant chiefs set me up and attempted to have me killed, hoping to escape the consequences of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by me (and funded by the NRA Civil Rights Legal Defense Fund) in response to my department’s harassment tactics. The harder they pushed, the more involved I became.
I have served on the board of directors of the Ohio Gun Collectors Association. I was the charter vice-president of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, the nation’s first pro-gun cop organisation. “I currently serve on the board of directors of the NRA. I appear on radio, on television, or in print at any opportunity to expose the lies of anti-gun, anti-constitution law enforcement thugs. “In one case I publicly challenged my superiors when they illegally snatched a citizen’s gun and refused to return it. Their scheme exposed, they hastily backpedalled, returning the gun to escape civil liability. For that I was transferred from my field command to a desk job with a little cubicle, with no assigned duties. I was just told to stay there for eight hours a day.”
Lt. Thomas started having chest pains from internalising stress at what a police psychologist diagnosed “intolerable levels.” Eventually, on the recommendation of his psychologist, he was retired on a medical disability at the age of 40. This resulted in a 40% reduction in income. “If I had it to do over, would I do it all again? You bet your ass I would! When I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States, I meant it! And I mean to keep on doing it, regardless of which side of the badge I’m on. “There are thousands in law enforcement just like me. Most of them must remain silent in order to avoid my fate. “But I firmly believe that when the time comes to restore this constitutional republic by force of arms, most of them will stand by us in the ranks of the patriots, playing catch-up for Waco and Ruby Ridge.” From American Handgunner magazine, 591 Camino de la Reina, #200, San Diego, CA 92108. Subscriptions $16.95 per year.
MORE BATF HORROR: PREGNANT WOMAN ASSAULTED
The Katona family is a model family for Middle America. Louie’s wife Kimberly is a devoted mother. Louie himself owns a real estate agency. He was a part-time police officer and a full-time community contributor. But he is also a gun collector. Based on a trumped-up charge that he falsified certain BATF forms, BATF raided his home. During the raid, his wife, Kimberly, became understandably agitated and upset. An overzealous agent roughed her up, slamming her against a wall. Within hours, Kimberly, then several months pregnant, began bleeding. She soon miscarried. Did BATF apologise to this family? No. Instead, they pressed criminal charges against Katona. This past April, a judge threw the charges out of court. The Katona family now has civil action pending against BATF. Pennsylvania
BATF THUGS TERRORIZE GUN SHOW ORGANIZER
The lives of Harry and Theresa Lamplugh were recently turned upside down as 15-to-20 heavily-armed BATF and IRS agents burst into their rural Pennsylvania home. The Lamplughs cooperated completely with the intruders as they opened safes, locks and cabinets – but in spite of their compliance, Harry and Theresa were treated with contempt. Throughout the ordeal, a fully automatic M-P5 machine gun was repeatedly thrust into Harry’s face. When Lamplugh asked if they had a search warrant the crude response was: “Shut the f— up mother——, do you want more trouble than you already have?” The Lamplughs watched in horror as these government thugs ransacked and literally trashed their home for six hours. Furniture was overturned or smashed and papers were scattered everywhere. When they finally left, Harry and Theresa stood confused and angry in the midst of their demolished home. When the wrecking crew finished their destruction, in one final unconscionable act, female agent Donna Slusser deliberately stomped to death a cherished Manx kitten in front of the Lamplughs and kicked it under a tree.
What terrible crime did Harry and Theresa Lamplugh commit that prompted this brutal six-and-a half hour ordeal? Harry Lamplugh is in the politically-incorrect business of promoting gun shows.The agents seized complete financial and business records of his company (Borderline Gun Collectors Association) from 1988 to the present. This included all computer records and any other documents related to the sale and purchase of firearms. Obviously, the BATF was on some sort of “fishing expedition.” But the most amazing aspect of the warrant is what was not on it. There was no reference to any crime by any person and no list of items to be seized was included. The BATF appears to hold not only the Second Amendment in disdain, but the Fourth as well. The persecution Harry and Theresa endured was extremely harsh. At no time was this peaceful couple informed of any violation of the law, and to this day no charges have been brought against the Lamplughs. Yet, the BATF has refused to return any property, even medical records and other personal documents and possessions. Source: “The Gun Owners” newsletter of Gun Owners of America. Vol. 13 #6 Also seen in Libernet Digest
POLICE DRUG SQUAD INDICTED FOR THEFT
Five members of a police squad in charge of cracking down on drug trafficking have been indicted on federal charges of stealing more than $100,000 by beating suspected drug dealers and conducting illegal searches. “These police officers were robber barons,” District Attorney Lynne Abraham exclaimed. They were accused of breaking into people’s homes, beating handcuffed suspects, stealing money and personal property including firearms and, in one case, forcing their way into an apartment and playing a sort of Russian roulette with one of the occupants. Seen in San Francisco Examiner (March 1, 1995)
COURT SAYS EARNINGS CANNOT BE TAXED
In an amazing court case involving the “income tax”, a Chattanooga jury agreed with the argument by the defendant that the “income tax” is actually an excise tax and only applies to certain classes of people. Nationally prominent attorney Lowell Becraft defended Lloyd R. Long who was charged by the Internal Revenue Service with willful failure to file an income tax return for the years 1989 and 1990. The defence admitted that Mr. Long did in fact have income of excess of $49,000 for each of the years in question and that he did not file a return. He then proceeded to prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not “liable” for an income tax, nor was he “required by law” to file.
Defence testimony presented a case titled Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad wherein it was the unanimous decision of the US Supreme Court that the 16th Amendment did not give Congress any new power to tax any new subjects. It merely tried to simplify the way in which the tax was imposed. It also showed that the income tax was in fact an excise tax on corporate privileges and privileged occupations.
The defence brought out a case entitled Redfield v. Fisher wherein the court ruled that an individual, unlike a corporation, cannot be taxed for the mere privilege of existing, but that the individual’s right to live and own property was a natural right upon which an excise cannot be imposed. In Tennessee Supreme Court case Jack Cole v. Commissioner, the court ruled that citizens are entitled by right to income or earnings and that right could not be taxed as a privilege. The prosecution did not challenge or attempt to refute any of the cases cited or the conclusion of the court. Defence brought out in testimony that nowhere in the entire IRS code was anyone actually liable for income tax. Mr. Long stated that in 1988, he knew that the income tax was in fact an excise tax and that he was not enjoying any corporate privileges nor engaged in any privileged occupation, that income or earnings from the exercise of common rights could not be taxed as an excise or otherwise, that nowhere in the Internal Revenue Code was he made liable for the tax and that the income tax was voluntary.
The IRS brought in two expert witnesses. Upon cross examination, one witness stated that a secret code known only to the IRS and encoded on Mr. Longs permanent record, showed that the IRS knew that he was not required to mail or file a return. The jury agreed with the defence. By finding Mr. Long “Not Guilty” on all counts, they have ventured into hitherto uncharted territory in their monumental decision. A Chattanooga TV station quoted a government spokesman as saying that this case will change the way the IRS will handle such cases in the future.
This was Case Number CR-1-03-91, U.S. v. Lloyd Long, filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, Oct.15,1993. By Bill Keller, excerpted from “Tennessee Man Freed on Tax Charges,” The Independence News Opinion, January 1994 Washington
CHELAN COUNTY TAKES AIM AT FED
Chelan County has made a preemptive strike against intrusive state and federal government actions. County Commissioners recently approv-ed an ordinance which threatens lawsuits against state or federal governments if either fails to consider people, economics and Chelan history in decisions affecting lands inside the county. The 100-page ordinance is based on the Declaration of Independence, the Fifth Amendment, and U.S. traditions following the Revolutionary War. Among other things the county officials want to declare officious federal bureaucrats off limits in Chelan (particularly Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management agents) and work out environmental and land-use solutions themselves. Chelan County lies wholly within an 11.6 million-acre area which the Fed is trying to turn over to the United Nations. The feds plan to forcibly relocate local people after seizing their lands.
“If they try it they’ll have one hell of a fight on their hands from Chelan County residents,” one local said. The new ordinance is proposed as a model for 38 other Washington counties.
Those who want a copy of Chelan County’s Resolution 94-145 may obtain it from Chelan County Planners at (509) 664-5225. Seen in the Washington Libertarian, P.O. Box 10294, Yakima, WA 98909
ANONYMOUS INFORMANTS THREATEN JUSTICE SYSTEM
By Vincent H. Miller
“Picture a society where the government employs thousands of its citizens to inform on their friends, family members and business associates; where tens of millions of dollars in government funds are spent annually paying those who inform; where police obtain warrants to search and seize private property based on reports from hidden sources; where the only way to win early release from prison is to fabricate stories about others.” The government described above is not that of former East Germany before the fall of the Wall – or Cuba – it is America in 1995. This is how a special report by Mark Curriden in the February 20 issue of The National Law Journal (the weekly newspaper of the U.S. legal profession) began. It revealed in stark detail that throughout the US, law enforcement’s reliance on anonymous informants has grown to virtually Orwellian proportions.
A nine-month investigation by the Journal exposed how abuse by informants and over-zealous or unscrupulous law enforcement officers has become a truly frightening threat to the rights and the safety of innocent people – as well as to the integrity of the courts. Not surprisingly the War on Drugs is the engine driving this rather sinister development.
New forfeiture laws which have made drug busts a law-enforcement goldmine, have generated unheard of amounts of looted money with which to pay informants and to increase the operating budgets of police agencies. The National Law Review expos, showed that at present there is almost no independent judicial oversight between agents and their highly-paid snitches.
With no accountability, judges routinely rubber-stamp warrants based on unsubstantiated claims of the existence of a “reliable informant.” The report revealed that the number of warrants issued that relied exclusively on unidentified snitches increased from 24% to 71% between 1980 and 1993! In addition, cash paid to snitches also increased dramatically. In 1985 federal agents paid out $25 million to snitches. By 1993 that figure had climbed to $97 million. Interviews with more than 50 judges and magistrates in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee found that none had ever required a law-enforcement officer to produce an informant.
Criminal defence attorneys have long harboured dark suspicions that police occasionally fabricate informants out of thin air in order to obtain search warrants. Even former Atlanta federal prosecutor Jerome J. Froelich, Jr. said that the wording in all the affidavits sounded suspiciously alike – “like they had been photocopied.” One detective, caught in a lie, admitted that he used a boilerplate affidavit. In fact, he testified that his superiors had told him to “use this `form’ affidavit because it contains everything we need to get over constitutional hurdles to have a good search warrant.”
Even more outrageous is the large number of “vapour” informants. “I’m ashamed to admit it, but I think this happens all the time,” confided Celerino Castillo, a DEA agent of some 12 years standing. “It’s tempting for (DEA) agents to take their suspicions, put them down on paper and attribute them to some made-up snitch that they know they will never have to produce (in court).” All too often “real” informants will fabricate stories and finger victims based solely on the amount of the wealth available for looting. Or, facing enormous jail terms under the truly egregious Mandatory Minimum Sentencing laws, prisoners have an extremely powerful incentive to finger anyone if it will help soften their sentences. To compound this insanity, 25% of property seized is made available as bounty for informants. Needless to say such perverse incentives have inflicted enormous damage on the integrity and prestige of the legal system. Moreover, they have fostered widespread disrespect for the law and law-enforcement – particularly among the young
INTIMIDATING PEOPLE INTO SILENCE
How unscrupulous politicians, political activists, and corporate officials are using lawsuits to intimidate, harass, and silence their opponents and critics. By James Bovard
Increasingly in America, we have free speech for public officials but not for private citizens. Politicians and corporations are more and more using libel laws to financially destroy their opponents, whose only offence is daring to speak out against corruption, brutality, and greed. Some political activists have been told, “oppose a government project and we’ll bankrupt you, take your home or put you in jail.” That’s what a group of political activists in Berkeley recently faced when they protested a proposed low-income government housing project in their neighbourhood.
The activists were afraid of rising crime in the wake of the project. The Department of Housing and Urban Development responded by charging them with violation of the civil rights laws for protesting. Just the cost of defending themselves threatened the activists with bankruptcy. In this case, media publicity caused the government to back off. But others have not been so lucky.
INCREASINGLY, PUBLIC OFFICIALS ARE SUING AND FINANCIALLY DESTROYING PRIVATE CITIZENS WHO CRITICISE THEM.
Laws protecting free speech are the bulwark of our liberty. The First Amendment protects speech about public figures unless it’s inaccurate, defamatory, and malicious. But unlike ordinary citizens who can be sued for false and malicious statements, federal officials, congressmen, and many state and local officials are immune to libel charges for almost anything they say about private citizens. Increasingly, public officials are suing and financially destroying private citizens who criticise them. In June, 1993, a citizens’ committee in Orange, Ohio launched a recall petition demanding new elections for mayor and city council; Mayor Joseph Dubyak and Council President Marc Silberman responded by threatening to file $6 million lawsuits for slander and libel against each member of the committee. The threat spiked the protest movement; Carmen Centanni, a leader of the citizens committee, complained: “This is another case of winning through intimidation.”
The city of Worcester, Massachusetts filed a $500,000 lawsuit against twenty-three citizens who requested a state environmental agency to review plans for expansion of the city’s airport. Colleen Densic and Lavena Leese requested public records from Garden City, Michigan; a city manager illegally denied their request. When the women put out a civic newsletter detailing request denials and raising questions about city government spending, Garden City Councilwoman Mary Jane Schildberg and former councilman Paul Majka sued them for defamation. In 1990, two parents on a school advisory board in south-central Los Angeles wrote letters to state officials criticising the school principal; the principal responded with a $1 million defamation suit. Teachers have sued individuals for asserting to boards of education that the teachers are incompetent. Some associations of policemen have routinely sued for libel private citizens who complain of police brutality.
POLITICIANS SUE CITIZENS FOR $1 MILLION, WHEN CITIZENS COMPLAIN ABOUT POLITICIANS VIOLATING THE LAW.
Lawsuits designed to stifle public criticism have been dubbed SLAPPs – Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation – by professors Penelope Canan and George Pring of the University of Denver. They’ve defined them as, “civil lawsuits … that are aimed at preventing citizens from exercising their political rights or punishing those who have done so.” As Newsweek noted, The most harmful SLAPPs involve politicians attacking their constituents. An Agoura Hills, California, neighbourhood association that tried to recall several city council members – for alleged violations of the state’s openmeetings law – found itself facing a $1 million defamation suit from one of the officials. . . Two Hudson Falls, NY, citizen groups who went to court last February to stop construction of a $74 million trash incinerator were countersued by Washington and Warren counties for $1.5 million. Officials contend that the opposition drove off prospective buyers of bonds to finance the project, hiking costs.
Warren County Attorney Thomas Lawson added an intimidating touch by announcing that the defendants risked losing their homes. The suit was dismissed by a state appellate court in January. One study found that the average SLAPP case remains in court for three years. SLAPP suits have become so common that activist Ralph Nader organised a coalition of lawyers to provide free counsel to people attacked by SLAPPs.
LIBEL LAWS ARE USED BY PRO-LIFERS TO BANKRUPT THEIR OPPONENTS
Libel laws are being abused by the pro-life movement. Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, sent out a fund-raising letter late last year asking for contributions to a new “Legal `Offence’ Fund”: “Our weapon will be multiple civil lawsuits. When pro-aborts get sued, they’ll have to shell out hefty legal fees from their own pockets to defend themselves, and big settlements when they lose. They could be tied up in court for 3-5 years.” Buffalo pro-life demonstrators filed several libel and slander suits against pro-choice clinic owners and pro-choice escorts who helped women navigate through pro-life demonstrators outside the clinics. One pro-lifer sued several pro-choice escorts for $500,000 for calling him a pervert, and sued the owner of an abortion clinic for “encouraging such statements by allowing the pro-choice escorts to be there,” as the Buffalo News reported. It’s peculiar for Operation Rescue to set up de facto blockades around abortion clinics and then to claim that anyone who acts rudely to the blockaders should be held guilty of libel.
Most SLAPP suits have involved private corporations suing citizens or citizen groups that have publicly opposed their requests for zoning permits and development projects. Many private SLAPP suits have been contemptible, if not damnable. This country would be better off to have a blanket rule of dismissing all such suits.
LIBEL SUITS AND THREATS OF LIBEL SUITS ARE NOW ROUTINELY USED TO MUZZLE THE PRESS AND MEDIA.
In 1992 the Democratic National Committee launched a series of radio ads attacking the congressional Republican leadership in their home districts. When the Republicans retaliated by sending out radio ads hammering leading Democrats, lawyers for Democratic congressman Dick Gephardt flooded the radio stations in his district with letters warning of libel suits if they aired the ads. Former Massachusetts Gov. Edward King sued the Boston Globe over, among other things, three editorial cartoons that portrayed him unfavourably. In May 1992, Rep. Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH) sued the Cleveland Plain Dealer for $18 million for reporting that she had been forced to resign from a House task force because of allegations that she had placed two ghost employees on the task force’s payroll. (In 1987 Oakar admitted paying a personal assistant a congressional office salary even though the woman lived and worked in New York.)
In 1990, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $6 million to a state Supreme Court justice because the Philadelphia Inquirer allegedly defamed him by reprinting a 1983 series of articles. The jury concluded that the original series on the state supreme court was not actionable, but that the reprint of the series was malicious because the Inquirer included an editorial and a cartoon in the reprint. In 1991, a Philadelphia assistant district attorney sued a Philadelphia newspaper for defamation because, during a name-the-gorilla contest conducted for the Philadelphia Zoo, the paper published a suggestion from a convict to use the attorney’s name. In 1992, a real estate salesman and would-be politician sued the Orlando Sentinel for an editorial that asserted that he was practising negative political campaigning. A Florida circuit court rejected the complaint, noting that “the Plaintiff does not stand accused of any conduct incompatible with his profession as a real estate broker.” Donald Gillmor, author of Power, Publicity, and the First Amendment, noted, “Two South Carolina legislators didn’t bother with a civil suit against the publisher of a small weekly in 1988 for criticising their handling of state funds.
They had him arrested, charged with criminal libel and jailed. On sober second thoughts, the lawmakers withdrew their complaints, and a grand jury indictment was voided . . . The South Carolina statute remains in place, as do criminal libel statutes in at least 24 other jurisdictions, waiting to be used to inflict provisional pain on editors who express disrespect for their elected officials.”
Some libel suits by government officials almost defy belief. A Philadelphia-area television station aired a story criticising a local judge’s handling of a violation-of-probation hearing that resulted in a convicted criminal remaining at large; the convict subsequently murdered a little girl. The judge sued the television station, seeking damages of “not less than $5 million for defamation, not less than $5 million for invasion of privacy, not less than $6 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress, not less than $1 million for injury to his wife’s reputation, and not less than $1 million for his wife’s loss of consortium.” The case was dismissed on summary judgement in December 1986 by a federal judge who concluded that the television report was “substantially true and based upon court records.” The family of a murdered girl has no legal rights against the judge whose action may have contributed to their daughter’s death, yet the judge can sue a private corporation that criticised his handling of the case. In 1985, the average libel suit cost $150,000 in legal fees for the accused. Some small newspapers have stopped covering controversial stories for fear of the crushing legal fees required to defend even an accurate story.
As Gene Roberts, former editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, notes, “We have turned a precious right – freedom of speech – over to lawyers who, with their qualifying, quibbling and quarrelling, are pricing it out of existence.” Libel is also becoming a greater threat because of jury’s tendencies to award stratospheric amounts to plaintiffs. The average jury award for compensatory and punitive damages in libel cases in 1990 and 1991 was almost $9 million, according to the Libel Defense Resource Center.
SLAPPs ARE BEING BANNED BY SOME STATES — BUT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS EXEMPT THEMSELVES.
Some states have enacted anti-SLAPP laws to allow and encourage judges to dismiss SLAPP suits at preliminary hearings and to make it easier for SLAPP victims to sue for damages. However, there is one glaring defect in many of the SLAPP remedy bills: government agencies are exempt from the attempted ban on frivolous lawsuits! This was the case in New York. As a result of this exemption, Nassau County this past March sued a community organisation that had protested a county leasing deal with private companies. A study by the county itself concluded the deal cost taxpayers over $2 billion because of low rents. Vincent Cioci, executive director of the Nassau Suffolk Neighborhood Network and a target of the suit, complained: “This sends a chilling effect. This sends a message to all taxpayers that you cannot involve yourself in the political process of Nassau County for fear of losing your home.”
EVERY CITIZEN HAS THE RIGHT TO BE A PROSECUTING ATTORNEY AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
Government officials routinely make false accusations against private citizens. If government officials were not exempt from libel, then every prosecuting attorney could be potentially sued for each case that he failed to win – since he publicly accused a person of committing a crime, yet did not persuade a judge or a jury of his charge. Every citizen has the right to be a prosecuting attorney against the government for which he is paying. Current libel laws increasingly empower government officials to determine when, where, and how they will be criticised. The harsher the libel penalties, the more political wrongdoing will likely escape public notice. SLAPP suits are a symbol of an overly litigious society in which everyone tries to drag in the government to compel other people to behave as they demand. It is vital that citizens and the media continue to be free to question and criticise politicians. America can well tolerate false accusations by citizens and the press. But this country cannot survive politicians and powerful vested interests who are immune to public scrutiny or criticism. Governments rarely admit their mistakes until some outsider exposes them. Libel law must not be allowed to be a licence to stifle truth, criticism, and debate. James Bovard is the author of the libertarian best-seller, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty regularly priced at $24.95. Now available from ISIL’s Freedom’s Forum Bookstore for only $19.95 + $4.00 s & h.
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PEN PAL SECTION
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Boy (16) a Mathematical grammar school student interested in computers, basketball and music would like to correspond with boys and girls of his age. Please send answer to the address:Radmilo Racic, Ozrenska 13,11000, Belgrade, Serbia
An 18-year-old boy from Estonia is waiting for all kinds of letters from all over the world. Interested in libertarianism, computers, business, politics, and many other things. Address: Y�ri Kaljundi, P.O. Box 68, Tallinn, EE0900, Estonia.
College libertarians seeking contact with other students interested in joining our new Student Individualist Network (SIN) and writing for and/or distributing our monthly classical liberal/libertarian/anarchist/objectivist paper. All correspondence should be sent to: Brian Taylor & Justin Weinberg, Editors: Guillotine, EMO, Binghamton University, P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902 or E-mail c/o Mike Darcey BB09769Bing-Suns.ccBinghamton.edu.
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I would like to correspond with libertarians in Hungary, Poland, Russia, Peru and Argentina. Write: Robert A. Markley, 2515 E. Thomas Rd., Ste 16-742, Phoenix, Arizona 85016 USA. I am a man, 29 years old and single. I am interested in free markets and free societies. I like travelling, meeting people of all races, religions and political understanding. I also like keeping artefacts. I would like to make contact with any libertarians in any part of the United States of America. Nkadi Azuh, 111 Road, Block 5, Flat 2, Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria.
A Young Adult. Business oriented. Would love to hear from sociable open-minded persons from the U.S.A. and all around the world. I promise to reply to all correspondents. Shina Oluyemi, P.O. Box 4975, Shomolu, Lagos, Nigeria.
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Please write: Raymond Kiely, 4981 Springhill Dr., Pensacola, FL 32503, USA My body has abandoned me but my brain has not. Seeking thinking libertarians for light, friendly mental sparring (use it or lose it). Some subjects are boring but none are taboo. Mathematics and professional sports make good sleep aids. Philosophy, scepticism, the sciences and history are candy for the soul. All letters will be answered.
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24-year old Celtic-American male in Northern California, single heterosexual working student, fervent believer in individual liberty. I am interested in hearing from people, particularly women, from anywhere in the world, both near and far. I am interested in history, politics, current events, science fiction, philosophy and authors such as Robert Anton Wilson, Robert A. Heinlein and P.J. O’Rourke. Address: Kevin O’Keeffe, 155 Hollis Ave., #7, Campbell, CA 95008
ISIL Classified ads are a great way to reach the world liberty community. Rates are only 10> per word. Minimum ad $5.00. There is no charge for ads in the “Pen Pal Section”. For display ad rates write ISIL for rate sheet at: 1800 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 USA Fax (415) 864-7506
ISIL’S 1995 WORLD CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN ATHENS, GREECE
October 16 – 20, 1995
Imagine having the opportunity to meet with Europe’s top libertarian activists, intellectuals, entrepreneurs – from Russia, Serbia, Greece, Poland, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic – and of course most of Western Europe. In an inspirational setting such as Athens, the birthplace of democracy, you are assured of an intellectually stimulating experience – not to mention a great vacation. The unbelievably low conference fee of $550.00 US includes: 5 nights lodging at the luxurious 4-star Hotel Zafolia in the heart of Athens, 5 breakfasts, a Gala Closing Banquet, a tour of Athens, including the Acropolis and the Coliseum. The Hotel Zafolia, owned by ISIL’s Greek Rep, Jason Zafolias, is only minutes from the Archaeological Museum. From the pool in the Roof Garden you can cool off while enjoying a panoramic view of the city and a spectacular view of Lycabettus Hill – or you may choose to enjoy your favourite drink with other conference attendees in the impressive ambience of the Poseidon bar.
Following the conference we are planning an (extra cost) cruise of the Greek Islands – a great opportunity to rub shoulders and jam with ISIL leaders and international libertarians. Make your plans now! If you like you can charge your conference fees on your credit card in easy monthly instalments (min. $100 per month). And please don’t leave travel arrangements to the last minute – the best deals in air fares are made early. Watch future issues of the Freedom Network News for more complete details of this event. ========================================================================== Yes! Sign me up for ISIL’s 1995 Euro-pean Conference in Athens, Greece I enclose $550.00 US. x _ = $
(Non ISIL member rate $595.00)
Please charge my VISA MasterCard # Exp. _ Signature Name _ Address _ Phone _ ISIL Conferences, 484 Church Street., #1507, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 2C7 Tel: (416) 964-0142 Fax: (416) 964-6003
ISIL INTERNATIONAL REPORT
POLAND: COMMUNISTS ATTEMPT RENATIONALIZATION
By Jacek Sierpinski
ISIL Correspondent, Katowice, Poland I would like to make some observations concerning Stephen Browne’s article “Politics as usual in Poland” published in the Dec/Jan issue of the Freedom Network News. To my mind it provides a false picture of the Polish political scene. At present, about 60% of an average Pole’s income is paid to the state in income taxes, VAT, excises and tariffs. Additionally, employers have to pay obligatory social insurance premiums for every employee – at present about 50% of his gross pay. Self-employed people have to pay identical premiums before paying their income tax. This contributes significantly to the cost of business and is a major cause of high unemployment.
The retirement fund itself has to be subsidised out of taxes (20% of the budget in 1994). The threat of a breakdown of this system is very real. The number of state-licensed activities has grown a dozen or so times since 1989. Among others they have set up licensing of broadcasting and made political appointments to the board of Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (National Board of Radiophony and Television). This has become one of the main areas of political struggle.
Privatisation of the economy has been carried on in a way that is conducive to various rackets – also its range is limited. Most of the firms in Poland are still in the government’s hands – including mono-polists like PKP (railway) or Telekomu-nikacja Polska (telecommunications). Isolated from competitive market forces, they routinely raise prices for their services. More radical proposals for privatisation like Solidarity’s plan of giving away privatisation coupons which entitled all citizens to shares in hitherto existing state property) have been ridiculed as “populist” and “anti-reform”. Anyway, the currently-governing post-communist coalition (Pol-skie Stronnictwo Ludowe – Polish Peasants’ Party – and Sojusz Lewicy Demo-kratycznej – Alliance of the Democratic Left) is less kindly disposed toward privatisation than previous administrations.
The state enterprise bill, under cover of privatisation slogans, calls for a mass “commercialization” of about 3,500 state enterprises (transforming them into joint stock or limited-liability companies own-ed by the state). “Commercialization” means only a change of internal organisational structure of a state enterprise. It consists among other things in replacing the workers’ councils which currently co-manage various state enterprises with a board of directors composed of officials appointed by a Minister. In fact, it increases the government’s control over a firm.
Anna Fornalczlyk, a former chief of the anti-monopoly office, in an interview to Gazeta Wyborcza daily, acknowledged that this is an attempt to return to a monopolistic economy. “Officials will ensconce themselves comfortably in these boards and the firms will continue to be state-run forever,” she said. The state also endeavours to increase interference into citizen’s personal lives. There is still coercive military service. They also intend to ban possession of drugs. Poland has already ratified the UN “Drug War Convention.” Now we are subjected to a continual barrage of pro-prohibition propaganda in the media. How Libertarian is Unia Polityki Realnej?
Unia Polityki Realnej (Union of Real Politics), which Mr. Browne says `represents a libertarian viewpoint ” is not a libertarian party and never describes itself in this way. They say they are “conservative liberals” or just plain conservatives. Yes, the platform of the party contains quite a few planks that you may consider to be completely or at least partly libertarian: a constitutional ban on state interference into the economy and less intrusive state involvement in national defence, police and the justice system; reduction of taxes; privatisation of the social insurance system with restitution to pensioners whose money was squandered by the state (paid for through sales of state properties); abolition of military service; legalisation of all drugs.
However, you will find fundamental differences separating UPR from libertarianism both in doctrine and actual practice. First, UPR places the highest priority on obedience to state laws – over individual liberty. UPR is for abolition of coercive military service, but it doesn’t support people resisting this violation of their rights or coming out in defence of draft resisters.
Similarly, though this party is against state meddling in the economy, its leaders not only didn’t criticise the building of a water dam in Czorsztyn in southern Poland (an expensive environmentally-devastating project which was begun by the communists and which is now under control of the Ministry of the Environ-ment. They have officially condemned non-violent protests of those opposed to this project as being in violation of the law. Secondly, although UPR is for the freedom of the individual, its propaganda clearly values some attitudes and lifestyles over others. They aggressively promote a conservative program of endorsement of traditional values and traditional Catholicism. In spite of their condemnation of military service they condemn pacifists. They condemn and oppose feminists, environmentalists and homosexuals. All attitudes critical of UPR policy are branded as being “leftist.”
ISIL RESEARCH FILES NOW ON INTERNET WORLD WIDE WEB
Scott Banister and Jeff Chan say “Check out the Libertarian Web!” In a recent Internet Digest Scott reported that HTML versions of the International Society for Individual Liberty’s educational pamphlets are now available on the World Wide Web. Address is: http://w3.ag.uiuc.edu/liberty/isil/isil.html. Jeff Chan reports that he has posted all of ISIL-NETs files – pamphlets, research files and past issues of the Freedom Network News- on a WWW site.
The URLs for the ISIL directory are: http://www.portal.com/~chan/libertarian/isil/index.html or ftp://ftp.shell.portal.com/pub/chan/libertarian/isil Thanks guys. Good to see ISIL materials networked worldwide.
Canada ====== CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DEBT EXPLODES ================================= OTTAWA –
Canada’s total government debt has ballooned to 100% of GDP. The interest on that debt, 25% of Ottawa’s budget, is growing faster than the economy. Canada’s enormous reliance on foreign investors has lifted real interest rates to levels that are among the highest in the industrialised world. From Johann Opitz on Libernet
CANADIAN CULTURAL PROTECTIONISM CHALLENGED ========================================== TORONTO –
Canada’s third-largest telecom company, Telus Corp., has opposed Canadian-content broadcasting regulations, arguing that rules designed to protect cultural industries are regressive, archaic, and an obstacle to progress. U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor argues that Canadian cultural protectionism violates NAFTA. Canada maintains that protection for its cultural industries is sanctioned by the World Trade Organization, which takes precedence over NAFTA. Note: Canada’s latest round of protectionism includes an 80% tariff on American magazines. Ed. Toronto Financial Post, February 4, 1995
Belgium ======= BELGIUM TO SCRAP MILITARY DRAFT =============================== BRUSSELS –
On February 9th it was announced that all military conscription in Belgium would end effective March 1st. This ends 86 years of compulsory military service in this country. With the end of the Cold War, Belgium, which like virtually all other European countries relied heavily on conscription, is now in the middle of a major restructuring and down-sizing of its military. A defence ministry spokesman said there were just 816 conscripts compared to 35,000 just five years ago. Now there will be no conscripts. The goal is to create a fully professional army, remarked Defense Minister Pierre de Lame. Submitted by Scott Kohlhaas / FYI Conscription
INDUSTRY URGES LIFTING OF GOVERNMENT BARRIERS TO INFORMATION HIGHWAY ====================================================================
BRUSSELS – On February 3rd, European, US and Japanese electronics industry leaders urged governments to promote the global information superhighway by lifting regulatory barriers and ensuring that privacy and intellectual property are protected. In a joint policy paper, industry associations from the three regions said the private sector should take the lead in developing the technology needed to ensure computer networks can communicate with each other and are resistant to “hackers.”
Governments should pave the way by relaxing high-technology export controls, liberalising telecommunications markets and allowing all locally-based companies to take part in subsidised research programs regardless of nationality, officials said after the meeting. “If we can encourage the governments to act in a unified manner, and not beggar their neighbours, we will roll this (superhighway) out even faster.’” Marshall Phelps, a spokesman for the U.S.’s Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), told a news conference. Seen on the Internet (Libernet Digest)
Hong Kong ========= GOVERNMENT RAIDS SEVEN INTERNET PROVIDERS =========================================
On March 3rd the Hong Kong Government through OFTA raided the premises of seven Hong Kong Internet providers and seized their equipment, effectively cutting off thousands of Hong Kong residents from the Internet and forcing providers out of business. The providers face fines of up to $HK10,000 and 5 years in jail. So do their users for not reporting their providers to the authorities. The reason for this was that the providers did not have a PNETS licence. (Public Non-Exclusive Telecommunications Licence.) The interesting thing about this licence was that it stems from a 40 -year-old law, which virtually no one saw applied to Internet service providers. Indeed after it was discovered that this licence was required, OFTA said that they would not take action against any provider that applied for the licence. (The licence costs $HK750 per year, about US$100.) But they went back on their word. The worst part of this law is that no one knows who this law actually applies to, and whether it also affects the BBS’s in Hong Kong. This is currently being investigated by OFTA. This whole affair makes a mockery of the free-enterprise spirit of Hong Kong. It appears it has the most closed system in the world. From what I know, Hong Kong is the only Western country that requires such a licence. With 1997 approaching, it gives cause to worry about the future as well. Seen on Internet (Asia OnLine)
India ===== INDIAN COURT RULING RAPS STATE BROADCAST MONOPOLY ================================================= NEW DELHI –
India’s Supreme Court, in a move that could end decades-old government control of broadcasting, ruled on February 9th that the airwaves were public, and that state-run Doordarshan television had no monopoly. The court ordered Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government set up an independent public authority to regulate the use of the airwaves by electronic media. The ruling, upholding a cricket association’s right to sell broadcast rights for an international tournament, said the free flow of information was covered by a constitutional provision guaranteeing the right to speech. “A citizen has a fundamental right to use the best means of imparting and receiving information and as such to have access to telecasting for the purpose,” P.B. Sawant and S. Mohan, two of the three judges, said in the ruling.
The ruling appeared to clear the way for private broadcasters, possibly including foreign firms, to air programmes from India. India’s state-run Doordarshan and All India Radio licence time-slots in their broadcasts to private firms, but permit no direct competition from other stations. Many Indian homes now receive cable television broadcasts from Hong Kong, the Philippines and Russia, because the government does not allow direct uplinking of satellite broadcasts from Indian soil. The court’s ruling struck down an appeal by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry challenging the right of the Cricket Association of Bengal to grant the broadcast rights for its Hero Cup world tournament last year to a foreign broadcaster, Trans World International.
The third judge, B.P. Jeevan Reddy, concurred with his two colleagues but said that until a new regulatory authority was set up, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry should consider all requests for broadcasting events. If state-run All India Radio and Doordarshan found such requests impossible to comply with, the ministry should consider permitting alternate coverage, Reddy said. The judges ruled that the new regulatory body should include representatives of all sectors and interests in controlling and regulating the airwaves. The state-owned overseas telecommunications monopoly Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd and the Human Resource Ministry had backed the Cricket Association of Bengal before the information and broadcasting ministry challenged it. The Supreme Court in India is highly regarded and has in the past come out unequivocally against people like Indira Gandhi, whose “state of emergency” in 1975 was declared improper.
Japan ===== JAPANESE PROTECTIONISM HURTS ECONOMY ====================================
A new study sponsored by a private research group in the U.S. says Japanese trade barriers hurt their own consumers. The report shows that Japanese consumers paid an extra $75 to 110 billion dollars for goods five years ago due to Japan’s “protectionist” trade policies. This should come as no surprise to libertarians. In ISIL’s pamphlet “Free Trade vs. Protectionism” trade protectionism in the U.S. destroys eight jobs in the general economy for everyone saved in a protected industry. Japanese economists Shjiro Urata of Waseda University and Hiroki Kawai of the Japan Center for Economic Research, who also contributed to the report, said that Japan’s trade barriers had a significant impact on the country’s gross national product in 1989, costing Japanese consumers between 2.6 and 3.8% of GNP. In other words, trade protectionism cost Japanese consumers $600,000 for each Japanese job saved. This study was conducted before Japan approved the GATT treaty. Although GATT will cut Japanese tariffs by one third, the accord will not remove all non-tariff barriers such as import quotas and price supports which also are certain to distort markets. Source: Voice of America
Mexico ====== POLITICAL CLIMATE IN MEXICO NEAR COLLAPSE ==========================================
In an unprecedented move in early February, Britain and five other European countries refused to endorse President Bill Clinton’s plan to draw on $17.8 billion of IMF funds to help stabilise the Mexican peso. This refusal to jump at the merest whim of Washington, DC signalled an abrupt end of an era of American domination of the world financial system. Clinton received no support from Congress either. Ignoring pleas from the White House, the party leadership tried to exploit the crisis to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) treaty and ram a Maastricht-style “Social Charter ” down the throats of the Mexicans. The Mexican economy after decades of central planning and political corruption is on the verge of defaulting on its loans. It threatens to precipitate what US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan calls the worst international currency crisis in more than 30 years.
The $40 billion bailout attempt, and subsequent “loan guarantees” were denounced across the U.S. as bail-outs of Wall Street investor-cronies and Mexican billionaires, some of whom made money out of the peso crash after being tipped off in advance by the Mexican central bank. The Mexican regime is fundamentally illegitimate. It is also dangerously unstable: “Mexico is far closer to civil war than people seem to think”, said Christopher Whalen, editor of Mexico Report. There are alarming rumours that the Zapatista guerilla movement – now active in several parts of the country – is planning a wave of attacks once the rainy season starts in June. A banking collapse is now almost certain. A negotiator for the Mexican government told the Washington Sunday Telegraph that Mexican banks face a technical 100% default rate on their peso loans. Mortgage payments on houses, for example, have doubled overnight.
Almost all bank loans are variable rate, tied to the Mexican central bank interest rate, and adjustable at will. Nobody can pay. The Mexican central bank now has to choose between an economic depression or a return to hyper-inflation. The latter course of action means bloody revolution next year, after another $20 billion or so has been shifted into safe offshore funds by political insiders. Excerpted from an article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the “London Sunday Telegraph,” February 5, 1995
MEXICANS DECRY LOAN PACT AS A SELLOUT OF SOVEREIGNTY TO THE U.S. ================================================================
If Mexican officials were hoping that the signing of the $20 billion in emergency assistance from the U.S. would buoy up the peso or the stock market, they were in for a disappointment, as the Mexican market continued to crumble and the peso slid from 29 cents on December 19th to just under 18 cents. As our pundits say here at ISIL: “Now that’s performance.” The severe economic restrictions that U.S. officials placed on the $20 billion in loans and loan guarantees mean that Mexico has surrendered an almost unprecedented degree of control over the management of its economy to Washington bureaucrats. The blind, leading the blind? Ed. Zedillo’s presidency was already weakened less than three months into his six-year term and social unrest is simmering throughout the country. “As a Mexican, I’m really angry that these decisions are being made in Washington, not here,” said Benjamin Miranda, a middle-class manager. “People here are tired of so many drastic measures. It’s like we’re all in a pressure cooker that is about to explode.” Another Mexican expressed concern that the Mexican government would squander the money “like you’d use a Christmas bonus.” Seen on Internet (Libernet Digest)
Poland ====== ISIL MEMBER LECTURES AT WARSAW UNIVERSITY ===========================================
WARSAW – ISIL member Stephen Browne has been participating in an ongoing series of seminars sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw. The theme is “The Theory and Practice of Democracy”. Stephen has already delivered a presentation entitled “Franchise, Federalism, and Representation: A Libertarian Critique of Democracy” to a group of faculty and students. Stephen also writes for the English-language press in Warsaw and last summer provoked an angry call from the Minister of Health after publishing a humorous article on the services provided by the state-run hospitals in Poland.
Turkey ====== BOOK ON ANARCHO-CAPITALISM PUBLISHED IN ISTANBUL ================================================
One of the books of libertarian economist and author Pierre Lemieux has just appeared in a Turkish translation, at Iletisim Yayinlari (Istanbul). The original work had previously been published in a well-known pocket encyclopaedia series at Presses Universitaires de France in Paris, under the same title (“Anarcho-capitalism”). This book reviews the economic, political and philosophical theories that derive from both classical liberalism and anarchism, and claim that government is an unnecessary evil. The author of Anarcho-capitalism has published many books at both Presses Universitaires de France and Les Belles Lettres, in Paris. Two of his other books have been translated into Japanese and Spanish. His latest book is on the economics and political philosophy of the right to keep and bear arms – Le droit de porter des armes (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1992). Lemieux also writes for the international press, especially in The Wall Street Journal (New York) and Le Figaro (Paris).
Pierre Lemieux was born in 1947, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He holds graduate degrees in economics and philosophy from the Universite de Sherbrooke and the University of Toronto. His activities include being a series director at Les Belles Lettres, a well-known Paris publishing house, and a contributing editor at Liberty, an international libertarian magazine published out of Port Townsend, Washington. The current issue (January 1995) of the magazine features Lemieux’s “Memoirs of a Soviet Dissident in Canada,” where he recalls his intellectual background from small-town Quebec, and tells about his life as an author against the stream and a free man in a statist society.
“Politicians are like diapers – they should be changed often, and for the very same reason.”
REBELS HOLD SUMMIT IN THE HAGUE
In January, 1995, a remarkable, albeit unheralded, meeting of unrepresented nations and breakaway republics of the world occurred in The Hague, Holland. Called UNPO (the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) it has been dubbed the “United Nations of the dispossessed.” A high official of the Chechen government who had succeeded in making his way past the Russian Army, rubbed shoulders with leaders from seven other rebellious regions of the defunct Soviet Union – Abkhazians and Circassians, the Chuvash, the Mari and the Crimean Tatars, the Gaguaz and the Ingush. There were Tibetans and Turkestanis from China, with Karens from Burma, with Kosovan Albanians and Sanjaks from Serbia, with East Timorese, Sumatrans and South Moluccans from Indonesia, with Batwa tribesmen from Rwanda and Ogoni from Nigeria. The people attending this event claimed to represent over 100 million people in 37 “stateless nations” yet none is recognized by Washington, Moscow, Beijing or any European capital. None hold a seat in the UN. Eight of them are already engaged in full-scale insurrections.
“We are squeezed into a corner,” remarked Erkin Alptekin, president of the East Turkestan Association and de facto “foreign minister” of a Turkic-speaking Muslim territory with a population of 120 million. The Turkestan rebels in what China calls its Xinjiang province have taken up arms against Beijing 42 times in two centuries.
Alptekin, during the conference alluded to an explosion that could “shake the Earth to its foundations.” “Our goal is full independence,” Alptekin said flatly, dismissing any notion of some autonomous half-measure.
Alptekin’s final remarks remind one of the immortal words of American War of Independence patriot Patrick Henry, whose famous words “Give me liberty, or give me death!” ring down through the centuries:
“Should we passively accept enforced assimilation and disappear as cowards? Or should we stand up for our inde-pendence and die as heroes?” The Sanjak Muslims, whose territory is surrounded on all sides by shaky Yugoslav states, is a distinct tribe numbering a half million. They viewed the crumbling of the communist bloc five years ago as a historic opportunity and an overwhelming 98.9% voted for full political and territorial autonomy in a 1991 referendum. Typically, the European community and the US took no notice of the vote, and when Serbia sent in the tanks, 70,000 Sanjaks fled to Turkey or other countries.
“So this is where we find ourselves – caught between war and the most brutal sort of oppression, but on no inter-national agenda, because the rest of the world hasn’t heard of us or doesn’t care,” says Vasvija Gusinac, the chief spokeswoman for the Muslim National Council of Sanjak. As to the plight of these peoples, the west doesn’t seem to care – or worse is antagonistic. “The world is already unmanageable as it is,” exclaimed P.H. Kooijmans, the former Dutch foreign minister. “Independent statehood for all 5,000 of the Earth’s identifiable minority peoples is simply impossible. It cannot be the answer.”
To Mr. Kooijmans, I can only say, Why is it not possible? ” Indeed, why should anyone try to “manage” the world at all? The empires of the 19th and 20th centuries (including the American empire) are good examples of how centrally-imposed authority doesn’t work. All of them have all either ended up in the dustbin of history or are in an advanced state of collapse.
As ISIL Advisory Board member Michael van Notten, now in Somalia, predicted some seven years ago, the world’s many tribes and oppressed native peoples now seeking autonomy, may become the constituency for libertarians in the 21st century.
Excerpted from an article by Frank Viviano in the San Francisco Chronicle (January 31, 1995)
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