Be Civil to Our Civil Servants

While anarcho-capitalists and minarchists may feel that the modern state is illegitimate, it is our strong feeling that we should work to eliminate leviathan by only the most respectful and legal means. We must realize that, until our goal is reached, the government has many important tasks to perform, and as good citizens we should not hamper its effectiveness. Remember that, while you may disagree with government employees, they are, almost without exception, decent, law-abiding, duty-bound servants of the public. Therefore, we offer a list of things that citizens must not do, as they would all really annoy the heck out of the government.

  • Come spring, do not repeatedly take every copy of every tax form from your local Post Office, claiming that you “make a lot of mistakes.”
  • Please don’t rub a President’s face in his own vomit while saying, “Ba-a-a-d Georgey!”
  • Be responsible with your politicians: Do not let them get wet. (Especially ones named “Teddy.”) Never feed them after midnight. (Especially Chinese food.)
  • Do not invade small, oil-rich neighboring monarchies. Even though the U.S. ambassador may tell you it’s OK beforehand, it really is frowned upon.
  • It is important that you do not call 911 every April 15th and report a robbery.
  • It would be impolite to gain access to a Vice Presidential Debate with the following stunt in mind: Position yourself to ask a question. First praise Lieberman for his candor and devout spirituality. He will smile and nod. Then ask, “Could you please tell us your position on the divinity of Jesus Christ?”
  • It would be equally impolite to gain access to a Presidential Debate in order to do the following: Position yourself to ask a question. Begin reciting Samuel Jackson’s biblical execution speech from Pulp Fiction. Insist to security that it was merely a satirical introduction to a serious question concerning media violence.
  • Just as egregious would be: Volunteer to help grassroots Republicans prepare for a Cheney campaign stop. Begin hanging “See Dick Run” signs. When the guy in charge tells you to take them down, insist that they are clever and that he obviously doesn’t “get it.”
  • We also feel it would be disrespectful to write a letter to Congressman Barney Frank, asking him whether he wears boxers or wrestlers.
  • When a respected government official dies, only the most callous and infantile buffoons would have fun at his expense. Please avoid these sorts of shenanigans.
  • If your congressman writes you a letter asking if there is “anything at all I can do for you, let me know,” please don’t write back and tell him you need the vacuuming done on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • If an Air Force commander, do not order your B-52s, holding at their failsafe points outside Russia, to execute Wing Attack Plan R. This is to be used only in the event that a Russian first strike has disrupted the chain of command. Although we hate to judge something like this before all the facts are in, it would appear that such an order would exceed your authority. (What, you haven’t seen Dr. Strangelove? And you’re wasting time at
  • Do not write a letter to Janet Reno, containing only the following cryptic line: “I was no fraud, and now I’ve come back to give you what you deserve. – DK” It would give her a real case of the willies, which is a federal offense.
  • Do not engage in suicide attacks on U.S. warships. What are you, some kind of coward?
  • Never, ever put bags filled with dog feces in mailboxes. And make sure, if you do violate this tip, not to be seen. Those postal workers can get testy.
  • Do not go into the Post Office and tell the man at the desk that you’ve noticed their nice poster, and would like to sign up for their “Drugs by Mail” program. See above note on testiness.
  • If you are a woman, please don’t leave the following message, in a despondent voice, with the White House switchboard: “Tell him I tested positive…”
  • Do not begin a boycott of Washington, D.C. demanding an end to the racist term “White House.”

November 2, 2000

Gene Callahan is a regular contributor to Bob Murphy is a graduate student in New York City.

2000, Gene Callahan and Bob Murphy