L. Neil Smith's
Number 245, November 2, 2003

Daniel Conan Weiner, R.I.P.

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from Dan Weiner

Letter from Harlan Bennett

Letter from Alan R. Weiss

Another Letter from Harlan Bennett

Letter from Stephen Carville

Letter from Michael Kielsky

Letter from Scott Bieser

You can have my (pink) pistol when you pry it from my cold, dead (but well-manicured) hands.

Dan Weiner (194? to 10-29-2003)
Founder of the Houston Pink Pistols chapter

It is my very sad responsibility to inform everyone that Dan died very suddenly this morning. He didn't want a funeral, so Marti and I will be arranging a memorial service for sometime in November.

Harlan Bennett

*sob* I'm very sorry, Harlan and Marti. Please accept my most sincere condolances, and my gratitude for taking care of Dan Weiner during these most difficult of times.

I did not know Dan well, having met him only twice. The first time was on the steps of the Capitol of Texas in Austin, where we both heard Rick Stanley and Michael Badnarik. We sort of hung out together, and I thought he was a bright guy who really cared a lot about liberty. He and I handed out little buttons to people.

The second, and last time, was when I visited him at Harlan and Marti's house in Houston, when Dan was but a shell of himself.

The world, this world of ours, has lost a Friend of Liberty in Daniel Conan Weiner. What the world has gained is that many of us know of how wonderful you and Marti are to give such care to our friend.

You will excuse me now, as I must go off and cry.

Goodbye, Dan.

Alan R. Weiss

Dear Ken:

My wife and I owe Dan more than we could have ever repaid him. When he moved in with us three years ago, Marti had JUST gone back to work after having been out of work for 13 months. We had been living on my savings and my retirement as well as what I had canned from our garden, and had a roof over our heads but that was about all. There was no food in the house, and Dan's rent the first month paid our electric bill.

Two days after he moved in, he came home from work with a car filled with groceries — canned goods, fresh veggies, fresh meat, bread, you name it — and announced that, since HE was going to live here with us, and he EXPECTED to be fed, that he had bought us a few things so I would be "HIGHLY MOTIVATED" (his words) to cook something EDIBLE for dinner. Marti and I both sat in the middle of all this bounty and cried, whereupon Dan told us to QUIT being FEMALE and leaking tears all over the place. Dan was the best friend that the two of us ever had, and it was a joy and a privilege to care for him when he needed us, after the wonderful way that he cared for US when he hardly knew us.

[From a previous letter:] When the graphic novel of L. Neal Smith's The Probability Broach comes out, please buy a copy and look for our Dan; he's one of the characters in it, written in BY L. Neal Smith. A good book never dies, and as long as there is ONE copy in existence, Dan will still be alive.



Re: Letter from Steve Seech

Someone is playing fast and loose with the facts.

It is a myth that scientists in the late 19th and early 20th century believed heavier-than-air flight was impossible. Lord Kelvin was an exception, not the rule. The problems the Wright Brothers had with the Smithsonian had nothing to do with some imaginary "impossibility" of heavier-than-air flight but was a personal feud. At the time, Samuel P. Langley was Secretary of the Smithsonian and he was also working on building an airplane. Secretary Langley was devastated when the Wright Brothers beat him with their first successful flight in 1903.

The feud between the Wright Brothers and the Smithsonian management lasted several years and intensified after Wilbur's death in 1912. When one of Secretary Langley's "aerodromes" was displayed as an example of the first airplane, Orville loaned the Wright 1903 Flier to the London Science Museum (not the French) promising it would not be returned to the United States until the Smithsonian renounced its claim. In 1944, Smithsonian Secretary Charles Abbot and Orville Wright came to terms and the 1903 Flier was returned to the United States, It was placed on display in the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building on December 17, 1948.

As for Lord Kelvin's opinion on heavier-than-air flight, who cares? He denounced Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection, too.

The Bell X-1, which Chuck Yeager flew past the so-called "sound barrier" in 1947, was developed — by scientists and engineers — by Bell Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, NY. Scientists had long known that exceeding the speed of sound posed serious engineering problems but there was no doubt it could be done. Bullets had been exceeding the speed of sound for decades. (Note for the engineers in the crowd: Compare the fuselage on the X-1 to a WW II .50 caliber machine gun bullet) and the sound "barrier" was only a myth in the popular mind and media. Scientists had no doubts.

Even tho Yeager was really number two — it is generally acknowledged now that George Welch exceeded the speed of sound two weeks earlier flying an XP-86 Sabre jet in a power dive — The "Glamorous Glennis" hangs in the Smithsonian too. In the National Air and Space Museum.

Stephen Carville

Announcing a free "Free Market" bulletin board:


Post notices announcing the availability of trade items, or your readiness to supply services or labor, or to announce a need for services or labor.

A place to promote keeping our economic activities within the libertarian & freedom oriented community.


Michael Kielsky
4 Peaks Technology Group, Inc.


I'm in the process of sending out review copies of A Drug War Carol to various magazines and newspapers. If any of you guys know of a good prospect or two for this, or perhaps would like to see this book reviewed in your local newspaper or favorite magazine, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd let me know and provide a snail- mail address.


Scott Bieser, production director
BigHead Press


Flight From Eden by Kathryn A. Graham. In a near-future dystopian United States, a small group finds an unusual way to overcome betrayal, capture, torture and death in order to resist tyranny and free their beloved nation. The sequel, The Liberation,is expected to release in summer of 2004.

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