Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 408, March 4, 2007

"It was airport security that caused the events of September 11."

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Jay P. Hailey

Letter from Andrew Eggleston

Letter from Tom Knapp

Letter from John Taylor

Letter from L. Neil Smith

Letter from David B. Schlosser

Dead body of the week

Re: "CSI, Retired?", by L. Neil Smith

L. Neil Smith's article about the various flavors of CSI and the rest was interesting.

A few years back when I worked in a cubicle I discovered old time radio shows—I find I like 'em. (I am just weird that way.) I also find myself becoming fond of Libertarian and Skeptical Pod casts, but that's here nor there.

Although there were plenty of propaganda pieces (FBI in Peace and War!) there were also several crime solvers who's methods of operation are libertarian friendly—Nero Wolf (Sidney Greenstreet), Johnny Dollar (I am not making this up—"The man with the action packed Expense account" the stories are framed in terms of the expenses he incurs during the case)

There was the ever popular Phil Marlowe, I have only heard a couple of episodes of "Richard Diamond" it seems mainly an excuse for Dick Powell to grab some friends and act silly. The Thin Man—

The great thing about these freelance crime busters is that the characters usually had their own motivations for pursuing their professions and their own internal code.

I guess we need Phil Marlowe and his illegitimate children—to show us that right and wrong isn't what some authority decrees, but something you do.

Jay P. Hailey

[Mr. Eggleston replies to a letter]

Re: "America's Loves and Hates—And why we're so hard for people to understand", by Andrew G. Eggleston Sr.

My article was an ironic musing. I find it ironic that a country would count and report daily war losses and igonore those problems here at home that take many more young and old from us each day. I used automobiles as an example because more American wars in the last fifty years have been linked to big-money interests involved with the creation, sale or support of the automobile than any other reason. I did not include deaths by suicide, homicide, poverty, lack of medical care, and a host of other things that take our loved ones from us each and every day, because then the piece would no longer have been ironic, it would simply have been depressing. Death is depressing, but people do die, so why can't we do someting about death here at home so that these daily numbers from war are the exess you would like to believe that they are. Your point about the per-capita of these numbers is excellent, but would have destroyed the irony you see. No I do not believe that war is safe, or safer, but neither is taking an inner-city bus at 11 o'clock at night, or driving at 2:30 am. I only wish that we could address problems here at home that our soldiers in combat don't face, racism, victim disarmament, and safety.

That was the point of my article.

Andrew Eggleston

Call it a "podcast" or an "audioblog" if you like. We prefer to think of it as our version of the traditional weekly Presidential radio address. From his home in Mendocino County, California—or from wherever he happens to be on the campaign trail—Libertarian presidential contender Steve Kubby drops in once a week by phone for a short chat with America. As the series continues, he'll discuss his campaign's progress and offer Libertarian policy proposals on the issues our nation faces.

Listen to the first episode of "Let Freedom Grow!" at—and subscribe to the series using your favorite syndication services.

Tom Knapp
Communications Director
Kubby for President

Wouldn't want you to miss this survey. :-)


------ Begin Forwarded message ------
From: Firearms Coalition
Date: Feb 27, 2007 2:29 PM
Subject: [Fcalerts-list] Brady Survey

Please reply to feedback at (using appropriate email format).

Sarah Brady is sending supporters a link to an on-line survey asking them (as a faithful friends) to answer the questions and help guide the Brady Campaign in their dealings with Congress and state legislatures.

Being a democratic guy, I feel compelled to share this with others concerned about the gun control issue so the Brady's get a very clear picture of just what the public really thinks about their issues.

Just like the surveys often sent out by pro-gun groups this survey is more about fundraising than actually seeking anyones opinion. Please answer the survey and consider following through on their fundraising appeal by writing a check to your favorite gun rights group. We at the Firearms Coalition would be very proud to receive donations in honor of Sarah Brady.

Follow this link and answer Sarah Brady's survey:

The "Name", "Address", and "Email" request at the top can be left blank.

If you enter an e-mail address, they might put you on their mailing list so you can keep tabs on their activities.

Please pass this on and post it wherever you can. I'm not sure Sarah's servers can handle the traffic we can generate!

Yours for the Second Amendment

Jeff Knox
Director of Operations
The Firearms Coalition

On-line contributions to the Firearms Coalition can be made at or mailed to:

The Firearms Coalition
Box 3313
Manassas, VA 20108
------ End Forwarded message ------

John Taylor

Dear Mr. Amrhein:

Your article about robots and security was very interesting. I agree that government and corporate respect for our rights is already in poor shape, and that current legal and technological trends are doing us more damage every day. Maybe the best fictional description of what's coming is to be found in George Lucas' THX-1138.

Ideas regarding what to do about the problem are a professional concern of mine. I have written 27 novels, and numberless columns and speeches about it, over the past 30 years, and will continue to do so until I draw my last breath.

But here's the hard part. If our studies of history and human nature have anything to teach us at all, it is that the following statement is the root of everything that concerns and terrifies you, me, and everybody else today who understands these matters.

"I'm willing to submit to '[w]hat's already happening every time we go to the airport' because heightened airport security is certainly called for in the post-Sept. 11 world."

On the contrary, it was airport security that caused the events of September 11, precisely because its perpetrators knew they would be dealing with victims who had been stripped of both their means of self-defense and their will to use them. This is exactly the same phenomenon that allowed the Columbine Massacre to happen. Both of these events, and dozens of others like them could have been stopped by a single individual armed with a tiny .38 revolver. Or even a .22.

In fact, they probably would never have hsppened at all, never been conceived, planned, or initiated.

Until that presently unpopular fact is faced squarely—without fear of being considered a "nutcase" by those around us who don't know anything at all about the problem—and dealt with effectively, the countdown to the kind of distopia you've predicted will continue. The 1977 Libertarian Party national platform committee (of which I was a member) considered me a "nutcase" when I predicted that new security measures then being put into place at America's airports would spread like cancer into the general culture and destroy what few freedoms we had left then.

So who, I ask rhetorically, is the nutcase now?

All the best,

L. Neil Smith

Teaching new citizens who's boss

This is from the Q&A on the new/pilot naturalization test for people seeking to become citizens of the USA (all details here here). The Web page notes that "[t]he pilot will allow USCIS to work out any problems and refine the test before it is fully implemented nationwide in the spring of 2008."

Here is a serious problem. Note the second possible answer to question 55:

55. What does it mean that the U.S. Constitution is a constitution of limited powers?
  A1: The federal government has only the powers that the Constitution states that it has.
  A2: The states have all powers that the federal government does not.

Now, note what the US Constitution has to say about that topic in the 10th Amendment:

Amendment X: 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.

According to the Web site, "new questions. . . focus on the concepts of democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. In designing the new test, USCIS received assistance and worked with test development contractors, U.S. history and government scholars, and English as a Second Language experts. USCIS also sought input from a variety of stakeholders, including immigrant advocacy groups, citizenship instructors and District Adjudications Officers."

Typically and of great concern, none of those experts and scholars thought it important to note that there are powers in our country that belong to any institution other than the national or state governments—which is to say, powers that belong to the individuals who hope to become the kinds of citizens that might consent to be governed by an elected government of limited powers.

According to the USCIS Web site, you can make a comment on this issue at or by calling 800-375-5283. Good luck with that.

David B. Schlosser

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