L. Neil Smith: Twitterpurge 2021

L. Neil Smith, acclaimed science fiction novelist, Libertarian writer, and the Libertarian Party of Arizona’s 2000 presidential nominee, posted the following statement on Facebook Sunday.  He personally gave IPR permission to re-post.

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Please bear with me here, I’m going to write of things I know practically nothing about. (Some critics claim that this is all I ever do, but my focus has always been on the bigger, historical picture: what things that everybody thinks they know all about actually mean.™)

My wife and daughter, normally very active online, were surprised yesterday to discover that they had both been unceremonially booted off of the “social media” entity Twitter. It turns out this morning that they were among four and a half million users to suffer exactly the same fate, including President Trump himself, General Michael Flynn, Sydney Powell, and Lin Wood. Who in his right mind dumps four and a half million customers? No appeals, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. The great Rush Limbaugh, I’m informed, fired Twitter.

It’s bad enough that we have all just suffered through a putrescently corrupt election and a coup d’état that has disenfranchised seventy-five million voters, now we deplorables must be silenced at all costs, as well. I, myself, was grandiosely informed a couple of days ago that something perfectly innocent and truthful I wrote on Facebook several months ago had offended their communist standards and that I will now be forbidden, for the next thirty days, to do something on their “platform” that I never do, have never done, and don’t really understand. Just who the ever-loving hell do these tiny little men with their smelly beards (and I do include Vijaya Gadde when I say that) think they are?

This is where knowing practically nothing comes in. I am not as technically illiterate as I may appear. I bought my first computer in 1983 and was writing on my own “Bulletin Board System” very shortly after that (using a 300 baud acoustic-coupled modem). But I’m basically a novelist by trade and I’ve always had what seemed like more important fish to fry—like figuring out what one of my characters has been up to while the others were all off doing something else, and where did he leave that pipe-wrench? If you’ve never tried it yourself, it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds, and if you’re writing three or four books at the same time, as I do, good luck remembering the names of your own wife and offspring.

The incipient Biden regime, I’m told, has plans for us. They’re very bad plans, the kind our fathers and grandfathers fought against in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East. I know it may not seem that there is very damned much we can do to resist right now. But consider: others dear to our culture have confronted evil before us and in many cases were victorious. My list is far from exhaustive …

Permit me to start with William Tell, an early 14th century Swiss bowslinger who fought back against the Austrian tyrant Gessler and eventually ended him. Then there’s Tell’s contemporary William Wallace who nearly drove the British out of Scotland but, like Donald Trump, was betrayed by his own people. Robin Hood (some idiots contend that he never existed) opposed King John Plantagenet, the loser who was forced to sign the Magna Carta. Robin Hood didn’t “steal from the rich and give to the poor”, as much as he robbed tax collectors and gave people their money back.

More recently, the gangsta’ Sons of Liberty functioned as the core of the American Revolution. Sometimes we forget that the Founding Fathers themselves were outlaws, many of whom suffered an outlaw’s fate. The Reverend Dr. Christopher Syn, “the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh”, is a fictional tax resister so admirable that many people thought, like Sherlock Holmes, that he was real.

Jean Lafitte was a colorful buccaneer who fought for American liberty. The family of Jesse James were among the first victims of corporatism. Ned Kelly, an Australian outlaw hero with a similar background, is worthy of adoption by Americans. More broadly, the Irish fought British oppression for 850 years before they won their freedom. The Poles fought both the Germans and the Russians. The Hungarians battled communist tanks with bars of soap (look it up).
In my time, America and the world did quite all right without so-called “social media”, and without the Internet at all. China Joe Biden and his Marxist ilk are nothing more than a pimple on the ass of our glorious republic, who don’t realize yet what they’re up against. The first step in getting rid of them is to treat them that way.
Where We Go 1, We Go All.

Award-winning writer L. Neil Smith is Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com. He is available at professional rates, to write for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-60s. His writings (and e-mail address) may be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at Patreon. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

46 thoughts on “L. Neil Smith: Twitterpurge 2021

  1. Austin Cassidy

    Wow, seems like L. Neil Smith is pretty out there now.

    “The incipient Biden regime, I’m told, has plans for us. They’re very bad plans, the kind our fathers and grandfathers fought against in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.”

    He’s been “told” this by who? Donald Trump and his closest followers? And these plans are what exactly? If Joe Biden had all of these super-evil plans to destroy America, I’m surprised he didn’t pursue them more actively when he was Vice-President for 8 years.

  2. Thomas L Knapp

    It’s sad that Smith seemingly lives in nothing even remotely resembling the real world these last few years. Did the stroke he had a few years ago zap whatever part of the brain is responsible for judgment, or is it a straightforward case of Political Derangement Syndrome, or both? Those seem to be the possibilities.

  3. Be Rational

    The admission at the outset, that he knows nothing, says it all.

    L Neil Smith is obviously the opposite of a libertarian.
    Joe Biden, as bad as he is likely to be as POTUS, is far closer to being a libertarian than is Donald Trump. It is incontrovertible that Trump belongs in the pantheon of evil with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Korea’s Kims. The difference being that Trump’s IQ level is so far below the others that his plans, from conception through execution, were thwarted by his own imbecility, and further compromised by the mental incapacity of his closest advisors and his sons.

    Liberty means that Twitter, Facebook and every other social media site has the complete freedom to kick anyone off their sites. When you post on someone else’s site you are a guest, the site owner makes the rules. If you don’t like the site or its rules, you can leave or never join. If the site doesn’t like you or your postings, they can remove you, suspend you, delete your postings, post warnings or whatever remedy they choose. These things are not censorship because you have the right to say them, write them and post them in your own home and on your own site. You can publish your own comments, pamphlets and books as you wish. You can set up your own site … it takes just a little time or money to do so.

  4. Be Rational

    The only voters who were disenfranchised in the recent election were those who may have been prevented from registering to vote or casting a ballot through restrictive laws that violate the voting rights of many Americans.

    There was no fraud in the Presidential election. None, other than a handful of individual cases announced so far, mostly Trump voters attempting to vote illegally to prove their own point that some people are criminals.

    However, after the election, there has been a outrageous, treasonous cabal of Trump fanatics trying to steal the election from the winners.

    The irony of the whole affair is that Trump only lost the election because of his own inept posturing.

    Trump’s mental illness and clinical paranoia caused him to assume that the Covid 19 virus was a personal attack on him. As a result he refused to lead an effort to defeat the virus. A few weeks of voluntary mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel of any kind coupled with contact tracing and isolation of those exposed could have quelled the spread of the virus and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. The virus could have been stopped completely, worldwide, with effective leadership by a sane US President. Enough voters knew this to tip the election to Biden. Had Trump lead the fight against the virus, he would have been hailed as a hero and won in a real landslide – not one that only exists in the minds of the mentally ill.

    Yes, if you believe that Trump won the election – that is, actually believe that Trump won the election – you ARE seriously mentally ill and in need of intensive psychiatric intervention.

    Additionally, Trump refused to adapt his campaign to reality. After he blew the chance to lead in the fight against the virus, the states naturally moved to enable voting by mail, early voting, drop boxes and other steps – all legal and approved even by Republican legislatures. All Trump had to do was to embrace the new reality – that he caused – and encourage his supporters to vote early, vote by mail and stay safe. He would have still won in a close election.

    Trump’s criminal strategy at this point was to assume that he couldn’t win the election legally, and to set up the attempted coup that he and his deluded, corrupt, and mentally ill followers have attempted throughout the campaign season, telegraphing their intentions all along, ratcheting up the effort following the vote in November and culminating in the attack on the US Capitol as the electoral votes were being counted on January 6.

    Trump is a traitor to the United States and the American people. He has fomented and incited an attack on the United States and on our democratic processes. He has violated his oath of office. He has betrayed his country, the people and the Constitution.

    Trump should be removed if possible before the end of his term. He WILL be impeached – again – and if 16 or more Republican Senators with any principles (or at least pragmatic enough to realize and understand the value and benefit in feigning to hold principles) can be found, this time he will be convicted.

  5. MRJ

    I’ll be honest, I have been a fan of L Neil’s SF and political writings for many years. But, with the election of ’16 and his stroke before that, he took a hard right and abandoned many of the very things that made him a libertarian and a voice for freedom. Instead, he embraced Trumpism and the authoritarianism of the right. Sad to see that someone who was once a mighty voice for liberty embrace the lunacy of the last 4 years and their insipid “philosophies”.

  6. William Saturn Post author

    “Trump is a traitor to the United States and the American people. He has fomented and incited an attack on the United States and on our democratic processes. He has violated his oath of office. He has betrayed his country, the people and the Constitution.”

    False. He called for peaceful and patriotic protests. Some supporters ignored him and stormed the Capitol.

    “Trump should be removed if possible before the end of his term. He WILL be impeached – again – and if 16 or more Republican Senators with any principles (or at least pragmatic enough to realize and understand the value and benefit in feigning to hold principles) can be found, this time he will be convicted.”

    The Senate, without unanimous consent, will not be in session until January 19. One day is not enough time for the due process required to hold an impeachment trial. You cannot remove from office a former president.

  7. Thomas L Knapp

    “One day is not enough time for the due process required to hold an impeachment trial.”

    Here’s the due process required to hold an impeachment trial: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings …. The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

    ” You cannot remove from office a former president.”

    True. You can, however, convict one in an impeachment trial and disqualify him or her from future federal office.

  8. William Saturn Post author

    “You can, however, convict one in an impeachment trial and disqualify him or her from future federal office.”

    That’s still to be determined. I’ve heard arguments on both sides.

    If the only purpose is to disqualify Trump from running in 2024 then that would constitute a massively anti-democratic action.

  9. Thomas L Knapp

    “That’s still to be determined. I’ve heard arguments on both sides.”

    I’ve heard arguments about whether the earth is flat or an oblate spheroid, too. That doesn’t mean it’s yet to be determined.

    You seem to be confusing the term “massively anti-democratic” with the term “bad.” Impeachment is a long-established democratic process undertaken by a long-established pair of democratic bodies in a long-established democratic system. It’s exactly the opposite of “massively anti-democratic.”

  10. William Saturn Post author

    It sets a terrible precedent to impeach a president over the actions of a few of his supporters who ignored his words. And then to try him after he is already out of office.

    Comparing the question of whether an impeachment trial can be held for a former president to flat earth is disingenuous. It’s in the passage you quoted: “When the President of the United States is tried.” It doesn’t say: “When the former President of the United States is tried.”

  11. Thomas L Knapp

    That’s an interesting point.

    What it means is that if Trump is tried after he leaves office, the Senate can set any rules it likes under its “sole power to try all impeachments,”, since he will no longer be president. There is no limiting clause saying that only sitting officials can be impeached.

  12. Thomas L Knapp

    As for terrible precedents, you may be right about that, although I’m unaware of any effort to impeach/try him over the actions of people who ignored his words.

    The interests of the Democrats and Republicans happen to be partially aligned in this particular case. The Democrats benefit either way, but the Republicans only benefit if they get their asses in gear and disassociate themselves as firmly as possible from Trump by trying him, convicting him, and removing him before he leaves office on his own. It wouldn’t get the albatross out from around their necks entirely, but it would cause the albatross to rot away more quickly.

  13. William Saturn Post author

    Anyone claiming that someone calling for peaceful and patriotic protests is responsible for violent actions that occurred afterwards is either misinformed, brainwashed by corporate disinformation, blinded by ideological hatred, or some other ax to grind.

  14. Fred J

    Trump has been feeding his followers beans for months and now wants to blame them for farting.
    There is plenty of evidence for anyone who wants to honestly and objectively look at real data that shows a concerted effort to get people to the capitol with the intent to disrupt the counting of the votes.

  15. William Saturn Post author

    Let me repeat this for those of you obviously who didn’t get it the first time:

    The Supreme Court in Brandenburg v. Ohio established a three prong test called the “imminent lawless action” test. It requires (1) that a speaker intend to incite lawless action, (2) that the lawless action is imminent, and (3) that the speech is likely to incite lawless action.

    In his speech before the breach, President Trump called for “peaceful” protest. He did not even advocate for lawless action. In no way can this be construed as an intention to incite lawless action or likely to result in lawless action.

    Anyone telling you Trump can be charged for “incitement” is either misinformed or lying to you.

  16. Thomas L Knapp

    “Anyone telling you Trump can be charged for ‘incitement’ is either misinformed or lying to you.”

    Anyone who says Trump can’t be charged for “incitement” doesn’t know what “can’t” means.

  17. Be Rational

    Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney announced Tuesday that she would be voting to impeach President Trump for his role in last week’s siege of the Capitol.

    “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney wrote in a statement. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

  18. Thomas L Knapp

    Cheney has always been anti-Trump. More interesting to me is a story I just saw at The Hill, to the effect that Mitch McConnell will not be leading the defense in an impeachment trial.

    I’ll be interested in the particulars of any articles passed by the House.

    Mr. Saturn keeps bringing up Trump’s use of the word “peaceful” early in the speech, but reading the whole thing goes something like this:

    “Hey, Bob, let’s peacefully walk over to Bill’s house for a beer. You know, I heard that Bill and a motorcycle gang have your wife in there, chained to a bed, repeatedly raping her. One of the neighbors down the block tells me he can hear her screaming from four houses away. Rumor has it that they went to a hardware store and bought a car battery and alligator clips to affix to her nipples. No, don’t believe the people who tell you she’s just out at the mall shopping. What, she just called you from the mall? No, that must have been an impersonator. I’m told she’s probably going to need reconstructive surgery and will probably never bear children. So, you up for that walk?”

  19. Be Rational

    Trump’s words and actions leading up to Jan 6, and the event he orchestrated, the speakers he lined up, the entire event was his baby, all the words of all the speakers were his responsibility, and they all add up to meet the legal definition of Incitement to Riot. The other speakers can be charged as well.

    You don’t have to tell the crowd WHAT to do. You have to cause them to do it through your words and actions … and this event was planned by Trump, so the charges will stick.

    After being impeached tomorrow, the trial in the Senate can happen after Trump leaves office. The Senate has held impeachment trials for other officials after they had left office. The precedent has already been established.

    It would be better for the America, the world and for the Republican party if the Senate were to actually vote to remove Trump this week. Better still if a core group of Republican Senators would take the lead to make it happen. It would give the Republican party its best hope of survival.

  20. Gene Berkman

    William Saturn – Donald Trump said things like “we will never stop fighting” and other fighting words.
    Yes, “fighting” can be a metaphor for non-violent debate, but that is not how his listeners took his words.

    While the Storm Trumpers were breaking glass and beating up people, and stealing stuff, Donald Trump did not take to twitter or Facebook, or go on any news station to call on his supporters to stop the violence. If he made a mention is passing to be peaceful (possible, but I never heard it) he bracketed it with calls to pressure Congress to stop the steal etc – words his supporters took as a call to action.

    It was more than two days before he issued a statement actually calling on people to not be violent, and acknowledging that a new administration would take office. Your attempt to defend the indefensible words of an indefensible president say more you than about the Trump Riot.

  21. SocraticGadfly

    This all said, Saturn is right about one thing.

    I don’t think Trump is a traitor, unless Trumplandia is considered a foreign country.

    Would he have taken help from Russia in 2016 if he thought he could get it? Maybe.

    Would he still have asked Assange for “more emails” if he knew Assange had gotten them via a Russian hack? (PLEASE don’t tell me you’re a Seth Rich conspiracy theorist, William.)

    But, the bottom line?

    Putin got more than enough from the dissention he created with meddling. And, as for colluding with Trump? Putin was and is way too damned smart to tie himself to a flighty weathervane.

  22. William Saturn Post author

    “It was more than two days before he issued a statement actually calling on people to not be violent,”

    Nope. It was hours later, not days.

    “possible, but I never heard it”

    And that’s part of the part. Many people weighing in on this are only going by what the corporatist media are saying and aren’t doing the work to actually research what happened.

  23. SocraticGadfly

    Saturn, per the blog link I posted which apparently has gotten lost in WordPressland again, one cannot view individual Tweets of Trump’s in isolation. (And, judges ruling on First Amendment issues in general need to think that way.)

    This is the same Trump who told the Proud Boys last summer to “stand by.”

  24. Fred j

    “Plenty of evidence” was a qualified statement.
    I didn’t expect (based on your previous comments) that you met those qualifications.

  25. William Saturn Post author

    “event he orchestrated”

    Loaded language and not true.

    The March to Save America was organized by a bunch of different PACs.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/09/pro-trump-dark-money-groups-organized-the-rally-that-led-to-deadly-capitol-hill-riot.html

    “the speakers he lined up,”

    False.

    “entire event was his baby”

    False.

    “all the words of all the speakers were his responsibility, and they all add up to meet the legal definition of Incitement to Riot. The other speakers can be charged as well”

    You obviously are not an attorney and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    “You don’t have to tell the crowd WHAT to do. You have to cause them to do it through your words and actions.”

    You have to intend for it to happen and for it to be likely to happen. It wasn’t. How would it benefit Trump for the Capitol to be breached? What probability would it be for a speech calling for peaceful and patriotic protests at the Capitol, supposedly one of the most secure places in the world, would lead to a breach of it? Not very likely.

    “The Senate has held impeachment trials for other officials after they had left office.”

    It happened one other time with Grant’s secretary of War. He resigned as the House voted and the Senate did not convict.

    “It would be better for the America, the world and for the Republican party if the Senate were to actually vote to remove Trump this week. Better still if a core group of Republican Senators would take the lead to make it happen. It would give the Republican party its best hope of survival.”

    I really don’t care what is best for the Republican Party. It is a corporatist party just like the Democrats.

  26. William Saturn Post author

    “This is the same Trump who told the Proud Boys last summer to ‘stand by.'”

    He said it during the first debate with Biden and cleared it up the next day.

  27. wolfefan

    If I tell someone something that is false, for instance that there is a Satanic pedophile ring operating out of the basement of the Comet Pizza and Ping Pong Parlor, and that person takes violent action based on what I said, have I incited that person to his/her violent action morally or ethically even if I did not specifically tell them to go and fire a shot at the pizza joint? Do i bear any moral responsibility if someone is injured?

  28. William Saturn Post author

    IMO you’re responsible only if you intended for that to happen, and only you can truly know that. But merely expressing an opinion or making a statement is not enough. The pizza place could possibly sue for defamation due to any damages from the statement, but again it comes down to intent and proving intent. There’s a much lower standard of proof for civil liability versus criminal.

  29. Thomas L Knapp

    “There’s a much lower standard of proof for civil liability versus criminal.”

    And an even lower standard of proof for political versus civil or criminal.

    It helps if the defendant earned it, of course. But whether he’s guilty of the particulars or not, Trump’s been daring them to boot him out on his ass since day one. And in this case, it’s sort of like OJ Simpson’s second trial — he was acquitted the first time, but that just made them more intent on getting him. The big difference is that there was reasonable doubt with OJ the first time out.

  30. dL

    Did the stroke he had a few years ago zap whatever part of the brain is responsible for judgment, or is it a straightforward case of Political Derangement Syndrome, or both? Those seem to be the possibilities.

    The Patreon link probably explains a lot. The marketplace of ideas usually rewards the gutter over honest scholarship. At the very least, honest scholarship requires much more effort for a comparable reward. The piece starts off, “I’m just going to make some shit up off the top of my head now. But the way, don’t forget to click on my Patreon link.” Kind of self-explanatory.

  31. dL

    Saturn, per the blog link I posted which apparently has gotten lost in WordPressland again,

    SG, if you are not logged in, you get often will get a stale cache version of the site. Recent comments may not show up for awhile.

  32. Be Rational

    “This is the same Trump who told the Proud Boys last summer to ‘stand by.’” SG

    “He said it during the first debate with Biden and cleared it up the next day.” WS

    No. He said what he meant during the debate, lacking the intelligence to realize he had revealed his honest criminal feelings and intent. The next day, on the advice of saner heads in the White House, he covered his ass by lying about what he had meant to say.

    Of course, after he tells a lie, any lie, he believes the lie to be true.

    Lying is the Donald John Trump’s standard method of operation. However, because he is seriously mentally ill, he actually believes the lies that he tells, even when others don’t. If the new lie, which he now believes, contradicts an earlier lie, Trump denies the previous lie. He calls it “fake news” when recordings and videos of his previous statements are shown. Donald Trump is unable to distinguish reality from fantasy, he is unable to distinguish facts from fiction, he lives in a delusion at all times, a delusion of his own making. Donald Trump is mentally incompetent and a danger to himself and others. He should be committed to a mental institution.

  33. Be Rational

    Donald John Trump has now been Impeached …
    … for the 2nd time
    … in a bipartisan vote

    And …
    Mitch McConnell has indicated that he is willing to convict.

  34. Thomas L Knapp

    “Mitch McConnel has indicated that he is willing to convict.”

    He’s said that he won’t lead the defense.

    He’s also said that he won’t call the Senate back into session for a trial, which is dumb if he wants the GOP to minimize damage to itself.

    As for indicating that he’s willing to convict, do you have a source on that? I haven’t heard of any overt statement to that effect from him.

    The facts of the case aside, a Republican Representative or Senator who doesn’t support impeachment or conviction is essentially saying “I LOVED the nearly 40-year period when the GOP was continuously in the minority in both houses of Congress, and would like to see us return to a status of long-term minority party.”

  35. Thomas L Knapp

    Also, I’m watching the vote live, and no, he hasn’t been impeached yet. The total is currently at 210 to 189, with 33 votes still out. They’ll need 218. They’ll almost certainly get it, but they haven’t yet.

  36. Thomas L Knapp

    The vote total for impeachment just hit 231, one higher than the highest total in the 2019 impeachment (one of the two 2019 articles passed 230-197, the other passed 229-198). There are still 5 non-voting.

  37. Richard Winger

    Brandenburg v Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969) struck down the conviction of an Ohio KKK leader who had organized a KKK rally at which some speakers said very obnoxious things. However, that rally did not actually result in any lawless behavior. The Court said the test is the “imminent lawless action test”, and has 3 subparts. Intent to speak; imminence of lawlessness; and likelihood of lawlessness. So in my opinion, the Brandenburg precedent does not protect President Trump. Lawlessness was imminent when Trump spoke, and the likelihood is now obvious.

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