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It’s April 15, 1999; are you ticked off yet?

Vin Suprynowicz is, and he’s written a book about what’s wrong in
this Land of the Once-Free. His book is called Send in the Waco
Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998
.

Yes, Vin — the syndicated writer whose column, “The Libertarian,”
reaches millions of readers — is angry. But Waco Killers is
more than “another libertarian pissed-off book” (as one correspondent
dismisses them). This is a book to sharpen your own perceptions of the
principles of freedom. It’s a book to share with Uncle Harry, who always
insists, “All we need are honest politicians and we’ll get some real
reform.”

If Uncle Harry reads this book with an open mind, he’ll toss those
na?ve notions into history’s garbage can and get on with more effective
action.

Books that detail the problem of unfreedom are indeed a dime a dozen,
as my critical correspondent observes, and we often use reading them as
a convenient substitute for doing the hard, scary work of getting
ourselves free. It’s so much easier sitting around being indignant
imagining we’re “doing something” because we bought a book. An
increasing number of us already know what’s wrong. The questions
are: What fundamental principles are destroying our freedom? And
what principles — put into action — will return freedom to us?

Indeed, Vin does talk about the problem — from old ladies beaten up
by badge-bearing thugs to that systemic disaster, the government
education system. He talks about it in clear, well-researched,
horrifying, personal detail in chapters called “All God’s Children Got
Guns,” “Demonizing the Militias,” “Public Schools…Youth Propaganda
Camps,” “Where we Went Wrong,” “The Courtesan Press,” “Why People Hate
the Government,” “Voir Dire: A French Term for Jury Stacking,” and the
ever-so-slightly sarcastically named “The Fearless Drug Warriors.”

So if you just want a potent analysis of how bad things are getting,
Vin’s book is a good one. (Another would be James Bovard’s brilliant and
depressing HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312214413/wolfeslodge">
Freedom in Chains.)

But what Vin does is much more valuable than that. In words that are
both lucid and passionate, he not only damns official evil-doers and the
doormat people who are their enablers. He points out again and again why
certain things — like the drug war, government schooling and
gun-control laws — can never be merely reformed, but must be wiped away
in favor of a return to individual freedom and individual
responsibility. His reasoning?

“Radical” comes from the Latin stem for “root. “… When did
radical become a term of disapproval? If you have a thorn bush and you’d
rather have an apple tree, the cosmetic approach is to get some string
and tie a bunch of ripe apples on the thorn bush, so it looks like an
apple tree.

Of course, a week later all the rotted apples will fall off. But that
only shows you haven’t hired enough trained specialists, and given them
a large enough budget, to keep hanging apples on the thorn bush.

Today, such a scheme would be described as “sensible moderate reform,
by working within the existing system”

If I propose to simply dig up the thorn bush by the roots, throw it
away and plant a real apple tree where it stood, that is judged
radical.

With a few exceptions, Vin doesn’t describe tactics you as an
individual might use to restore freedom. But his lucid statements of
principle, and his unflinching, un-cowed attitude toward tyranny, can
certainly aid anyone to develop a mindset for effective freedom
fighting.

One of Vin’s great services to freedom-loving readers who wish to
persuade “reform-minded” friends is that he reproduces and refutes
arguments reform advocates have sent him over the years — arguments for
“reasonable gun control,” “effective national education standards,”
“better funding for better schools,” or a drug war that somehow can be
made not to trash the Bill of Rights.

Though many people will, no doubt, be uncomfortable with Vin’s
unabashed radicalism, I don’t believe anyone with a truly open mind
could read his arguments carefully and still say, “You’re wrong, Vin.”
His logic and his facts are impeccable.

Ironically, Vin notes that it’s often not his philosophical opponents
who are the most uncomfortable with his views. “When I talk about drug
legalization,” it’s my friends, not my enemies — my friends! — who
rush in to say, ‘Oh, Vin doesn’t really mean that. He doesn’t mean you
should legalize heroin.’”

Lest there be any doubt about what Vin really means, here it is from
his own pen:

The very first chapter of the book of Genesis reports
that God gave man every flower and seed-bearing herb and tree for his
use. At the same time the Creator gave us the freedom to decide whether
and how to use medicinal herbs (including those that can alter our
consciousness or provide a religious experience). He also made us
responsible to suffer the (natural) consequences if we make foolish
decisions about the use of these plants. Any government with the
arrogance to think it can take away both our freedom to make such
decisions and our responsibility to live with the consequences –
answering for those consequences before that Higher Power, not their
jumped-up tribunals — is insufferable.

This does not mean that, “Marijuana should be available by
prescription.” It means that morphine sulfate should be available in
five-pound bags at the supermarket for a couple of bucks, like sugar …
but probably in a different aisle, to avoid confusion.

Morphine at the K-Mart? Heroin in the health-food store? Sounds crazy
– unless you look hard at the underlying principles and the historic
evidence.

However, it’s a measure of how things have recently changed that Vin
placed his anti-drug-war chapter near the beginning of the book. In a
phone conversation, he casually mentioned that he did this to introduce
the most palatable arguments first. Drug war? That’s an easy one.
Persuading people that government schools and “reasonable” gun control
are incompatible with freedom is the harder task. What a turnabout from
20 years ago, when talk of drug legalization was widely considered one
of the maddest of mad libertarian proposals!

But today, the ruin of lives and the terrifying militarization of
American police forces provide their own arguments that prohibition of
any drug eventually leads to chaos and injustice. Read Vin’s
words, then observe reality. However uneasy you may be at first, you’ll
find the two a persuasive combination.

Waco Killers began with material from five years of Vin’s
columns. But it is not a mere compilation. It is a fresh work with
coherent chapters, follow-ups to his original reporting, and new
observations.

Vin has millions of readers. However, only a handful of newspapers
actually pay his modest syndication fee. If you are one of those who has
benefited from Vin’s work cost free over the years, I urge you to “vote
with your wallet” — and buy this book by the crate.

Send in the Waco Killers can be ordered from: 1) Huntington
Press
(1-800-244-2224); 2) HREF="http://www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html">The Spirit of 76
website; or 3) Mountain Media, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas, Nevada
89127-4422. Price is $21.95 plus shipping ($3.00 U.S.P.S./$6.00 UPS from
Mountain Media). Payment options from credit cards to silver dollars are
available.


NOTE to those who’ve been trying to reach my Web site. Thank you for
your patience and your concern. Wolfe’s Lodge is currently difficult to
find due to a disastrous move to a new Web hosting service. It should be
back online at its real URL (http://www.curleywolfe.net/cw/) in about a
week. In the meantime, it’s reachable, though not functioning perfectly
HREF="http://www.curleywolfe.net"> behind this door.

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