Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 544, November 15, 2009

Life goes on.

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Letters to the Editor

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[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear, otherwise we will use the information in the "From:" header!]

Letter from Dave Earnest

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Tom Knapp

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Jim Davidson

Yet Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Rex May

Again a Letter from A.X. Perez

And Another Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from

Letter from

Stress Relief

In case you are having a rough day, here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals. You have to read all 7 steps to completely learn how to manage the stress in your life.

The funny thing is that it really does work and will make you smile...

1. Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs out over a crystal clear stream.

2. Picture yourself with both your hands dangling in the cool running water.

3. Birds are sweetly singing in the cool mountain air.

4. No one knows your secret place.

5. You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.

6. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of the person you are holding underwater.

There!! See? It really does work. You're smiling already.

Dave Earnest

[Thanks, Dave. I needed that—Editor]

Comments on Postings on L. Neil Smith at Random

Almost from the instant the American people learned that a United States Army Major—and psychiatrist—one Nidal Malik Hasan, hadmurdered a dozen unarmed individuals at Fort Hood, Texas, and wounded around two and a half dozen more before being taken out of action by a courageous young police officer, my Inbox began filling with bigoted garbage.
—L. Neil Smith, SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT FORT HOOD November 7, 2009
L. Neil Smith at random

That people would make bigoted statements about Dr. Hasan's faith does not surprise me. For all that we Americans brag of our right to freedom there is a nasty fascistic streak in our culture. As racial bigotry becomes less acceptable religious hatred becomes the substitute in acting out this flaw.

Certain wannabe tyrants who happen to be Muslim have recruited the more fanatical and disenfranchised people of the Islamic world to be their "muscle" in establishing a new Caliphate. They establish their legitimacy by making war against "the agents of World Wide Zionism, the US and Israel." Meanwhile we support the El Saud dynasty (look up how they got control of Riyadh.), the old Pahlavi dynasty and at one time actually supported Saddam in Iraq (keep that oil pumping). Not a good plan to prove our love of liberty to people who are being told we are oppressive enemies. Neither American liberals or conservatives are prepared to understand all this. So we substitute buying into anti Muslim bigotry because we don't have to think so hard.

All that said, unless the Bosses and their media whores are BSing us, Hasan's jacket should have had more red flags than a Soviet Mayday Parade. One must ask why he wasn't getting the right help, including being correctly identified as someone we needed to get back on civvy street.

We seem to be creating a society almost deliberately designed to create such monsters. Whether this is simply an acceptable price of repression to those who misrule our world or "A Deliberate Conspiracy To Strip The American People Of Their Guns And Other Freedoms" I do not know or care. Either is a result of the attempt to deny people their individual freedom and dignity. The enemies of liberty claim that this proves people must be disarmed. I say that arming the people is an incentive to create a society aimed at creating free, sane individuals, not damaged enslaved interchangeable parts for the collective. And stop blaming people losing it and committing atrocities on faith, or wrong faith, or lack of faith, or melanin or handedness or whatever.

Please note that everyone in the media (to include generals being interviewed) kept saying that Ft. Hood was supposed to be a safe haven, where "something like this couldn't happen."

Ain't no such animal. The only safety is being ready to deal with danger at all times. Supporting the delusion and illusion of safe places in the face of objective evidence such things don't exist is one reason damn fools, frigging idiots and moral wimps push gun control.Barring God striking my enemies down for me (it's been known to happen) I'd rather bet on environmental awareness, clear lanes of maneuver and fire, and the appropriate tools. And I know several of you don't believe in God, and even if you do presumption (trusting God to cover your ass when you won't bother) is a sin, so stay in condition yellow!

All of the above was originally posted on L. Neil Smith at random. The first was a response to the article cited at the beginning of this article, the second in response to other people commenting in El Neil's blog site. Both parts have been edited, corrected, cut and/or added to from original.

A.X. Perez

New features At Rational Review News Digest/Freedom News Daily

Dear readers,

This isn't a "special edition" of Rational Review News Digest/Freedom News Daily, so it doesn't get a Volume/Issue designation or anything like that. I just wanted to update you on some cool new things we're doing to bring value to our readers.

We're rolling out three new features, with a fourth coming soon:


Earlier this year, novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith established "The Moratorium," a new blog on Rational Review's web space. He's got a few posts up at the moment, and plans to get back at it after November (he's participating in NaNoWriMo, a month-long novel-writing project, starting today).

In the last week, we've welcomed two more prominent libertarian writers, Tibor R. Machan and J. Neil Schulman, to the list with their own blogs "@ Rational Review," and expect to add more as time goes on. These writers enjoy complete editorial and artistic independence -- we're just providing web hosting and some technical support to help them reach the audience they deserve.

The Moratorium (L. Neil Smith)
A Passion for Liberty (Tibor R. Machan)
J. Neil Schulman @ Rational Review


This new feature is a premium for those who have returned value for value to—e.g. financially supported, in any amount at any time—RRND/FND.

A "Virtual Evening with [insert name here]" will be a "by invitation only" teleconference (at the beginning; we may add video and Internet chat capabilities later), emceed by a Rational Review editor and featuring a prominent/interesting freedom movement figure. The featured speaker, artist or group will give a short presentation, then "the floor" will open up for questions, comment and discussion. We expect to put on the first "Virtual Evening" in November or December, with one or two per month following after that.

If you've ever financially supported RRND/FND and would like to receive invitations to future "Virtual Evenings," apply to join the low-volume, event-announcements-only email list at:

If you HAVEN'T ever financially supported RRND/FND, see below for how to do so.

For permanent reference, we'll keep the "Virtual Evenings" program updated at:


The Libertarian Press Club is open to freedom movement journalists, bloggers, podcasters and other producers of libertarian media.

The LPC's mission is to assist those content producers in their work by helping them connect with newsworthy individuals, projects and organizations for virtual press conferences, group interviews and other collaborative events.

The LPC's first event is tentatively scheduled for mid-November 2009.

If you're a libertarian content producer, request an invitation to join the Libertarian Press Club at:

There are no dues or payments required; members are subscribed to a low-volume email list so that they can receive announcements of, and access details for, LPC events.

If you're involved in a project that you believe deserves coverage by libertarian media, please contact Thomas L. Knapp (thomaslknapp at rationalreview dot com) to discuss scheduling an LPC event.

For permanent reference, we'll keep a Libertarian Press Club page updated at:


Awhile back, Kent McManigal (the Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner—see proposed a project to help libertarians rally on important issues by tracking pertinent "letters to the editor" and making it easy to reply/ respond to them.

We're working on that one now and expect to have it ready to launch in November. When it's done, we'll have a sub-site a lot like RRND/FND's web editions, but consisting entirely of blurbed/linked LTEs from papers around the world, with information on where to send your own supportive or opposing LTE.


Rational Review News Digest survives (or doesn't) on the financial support of its readers. If you're one of those who "returns value for value" by thinking about how much the freedom movement's daily newspaper is worth to you and then forking it over, THANK YOU! If you're not, I hope you'll take this opportunity to change that. Here are a few ways of doing so:

—Contribute to our year-end fundraiser at:

We're a little more than $5,000 short of our goal right now.

—Become a "subscribing contributor" with a monthly payment of $2.50, $5, $10 or $20, or a quarterly payment of $3, at:

—If "tax-deductibility" is important to you, make a contribution to the International Society for International Liberty, earmarked for "Freedom News Daily:"

Speaking of ISIL, don't miss their Winter Retreat and Conference, January 8-10, 2010 in Phoenix! See the front page at for more information.

—If you'd like to send a check, money order, cash, bullion, Vincent van Gogh original, blackmail-worthy photo of a prominent politician in bed with a dead girl or a live boy, etc., email me at thomaslknapp at rationalreview dot com for the relevant information.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us, and thanks in advance to those who are about to do so. Enjoy the new features, and we'll be back with the daily editions of RRND/FND tomorrow!

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review

The Washington Sniper was excuted tuesday 10 November, 2009.

NPR quoted the Governor of Virginia as stating the Execution went normally.

I am of the opinion that there are circumstances where the death penalty is just, appropriate and necessary. As far as I can tell by the cultural standards of the people of Virginia all three adjectives apply to the execution of John Allen Mohammed.

However, normal is not an adjective that should ever be used to describe an execution. Execution should be reseved for those persons who commit such horrible offenses that include a murder that only the shedding of blood can right the balance, that there is no doubt that they will commit unjust killings and other crimes causing unjust harm to individuals in the future. Such persons are rare, except maybe in various bureaucracies with law enforcement power. Rarer than the persons who must be killed in self defense or the legitimate defense of others or when resisting just arrest.

Executions should never become normal or routine, because when they do, the state has descended to a new low of tyranny.

Currently the Supreme Court is dealing with the issue of whether juveniles should be put away for life without parole as a punishment. Not because they are so brain damaged by bad genes, injury, fever, malnutrition, and psychological trauma that they are incapable of determining or learning the difference between right from wrong and have demonstrated a proclivity for wrong. As punishment.

Should conscienceless, soulless monsters (again very few outside of government) be locked away for life as soon as they identify themselves by violating the rights of others, even if they are children? Stated that way the answer is obvious. However, this is a form of medical qurantine, not a punishment. In any case, up until between 22 to 25 years of age or so, the human brain is still developing and changing, last year's monster matures into this year's saint. Appropriate medical quarantine, even for behavioral disorders, is not nor should it be punishment.

Normal execution, treating potentially salvageable persons as incurably criminally insane is not justice. Doing these things is obscene and absurd. It is the state at its worse.

A.X. Perez

Drowning in mud

Dear Editor,

I very much enjoyed Neil's essay about Agincourt.

The battle took place in a freshly plowed field, and the time of battle was after several days of continuous rain. Some accounts have it as two weeks of rain. So mud was definitely a factor.

Many of the armored knights who fell at Agincourt for one reason or another were trapped in mud that was often more than knee deep. Many of the deaths, including the death of the Duke of York, were from drowning.

Another aspect of the situation was the narrowing of the front as the French advanced, making for crowding at the very front rank so that many of the French attackers could not bring their weapons to bear. One writer comments on the situation: "While men-at-arms in plate armor are normally quite mobile, the combination of the mud and the crowding made them almost helpless. The English simply knocked them down, to drown or suffocate under fallen bodies."

There are no contemporary sources to cite on the legend that the French king threatened to cut off the first and middle fingers, or the middle finger, of the English archers if he won the battle. But it is a dramatic image to think of hundreds of archers holding aloft their middle finger, or the more English two fingers salute.

Ancient Greek plays speak of the impudent finger being raised to insult. The Latin term is digitus impudicus. So it is unlikely that giving the finger originated as late as Agincourt.

But it was a very important battle. By some accounts, between 35,000 and 65,000 French casualties, including the peasants, were matched by about 400 English killed. Being uphill, the Sun behind him, with a field of mud to cross, and using a feint of an advance to draw the French into attack were all brilliant moves. It is a battle still studied by military historians and strategists.


Jim Davidson

On Saturday 7th November 2009 The US House of Representatives passed its Health Care Reform Bill, known colloquially by its opponents as "Obamacare." Passage by the Senate of this Bill is problematical, passage of a similar bill is extremely likely. What comes out of conference committee deserves careful attention (Read Heinlein's Magic, Inc. to find out why.).

There is a silver lining and a danger for conservatives and libertarians. The silver lining is that by pushing through Obamacare the liberals may have expended their political credit, making gun control laws and other left based restrictions of civil rights and liberties political suicide to support until the next presidential election.

The danger is that the left has established its "steamroller" and is ready to push through repressive laws. Time will tell.

We are suffering from the Chinaman's curse, "may you live in interesting times."

A.X. Perez

Baloo News
Baloo News!

Two items today: First, I've started a new fairly regular panel called "Stand-up Guy." You can see it at:
[There's a large sampling of these on our "front cover" for this issue—Editor]

Second, in reaction to the outrageously politically correct reaction to the Fort Hood Massacre, I've made this design

It's available as t-shirts and lot of other merchandise, including bumperstickers, at:

Buy it quick before Zazzle decides it's too politically incorrect and deletes it!

Finally, be sure to visit my regularly updated cartoon sites, starting with these URL's


Rex May
PHONE: 1-970-218-0889
All about me here:*

Drunk Driving (and other stuff)

I guess it's a matter of having a dog in the fight. Whether this counts as cognitive dissonance or personal experience and observation trumping philosophical opinion I do not know.

I've lost more people I care for, including my father, to drunk drivers, than I have to any other form of interpersonal violence. Perhaps because I take it so personallyer I do tend to see drunk driving as a violation of other people's rights, a drunk driver is in fact endangering other people's lives, health and property to a suuficient degree for his activity to constitute a violation of the Zero Aggression Principle. Somewhere along the line he made the decision that he was willing to risk another person's (or other persons') lives rather than call a taxi or stay within his limits.

I realize there are mitigating circumstances, inexperience in the use of alcoholand/or emergency that precludes any other form of transportation, for example. I also realize that most people who drive drunk manage to get to point B from pointa without harming others. However, when consumption of alcohol (or other drugs) leads to speeding, running red lights, weaving in traffic and otherwise endangering others, yeah it should be criminalized just like anyother reckless behavior that a reasonable person would realize created an excessive risk to the rights of others.

On a more cheerful note, funny thing about laws against polygamy in the US. Of course, some were meant to preclude a person getting married under fraudulent conditions. However, most were written when there were not enough women (potential wives!) to go around. This of course led to men who could not find wives getting a mite (or mighty) miffed that some guys (Mormons, Native Americans, travelling men, etc.) had more than one.

The result was rationing in the form of laws against polygamy (more specifically, polygyny).

The opposite reaction as the ratio of women to men was "corrected" was the pressure to outlaw booze (ultimatey proven to be an error), saloons, gambling, and prostitution to get men to stay at home and use their money, time and physical strength to provide for their families. Especially wives, especially strength.

As the sex ratio goes the other way and women begin to outnumber men one wonders if the ladies will be more generous with eachother than we males were and get rid of laws against polygamy.

A.X. Perez


This particular message is being written on a machine using the Ubuntu version of Linux instead of Windows.

Of course by running on Linux (even Linux lite) this becomes an exercise and celebration of nerdity. Long live nerds!

Secondly, this machine becomes more "mine," slightly more personalized than a machine running factory software and/or updates.

Thirdly, this challenges Microsoft's alleged monopoly in operating systems. While I personally have no problems with the success of Microsoft and feel that their so called monopoly is the result of a well marketed superior product, challenging monopolies is in and of itself always a good thing.

Last but not least this is a celebration that some government stuffed shirt can't tell me what operating system must be used to run my computer. I will keep my Windows partition for reasons that seem good to me and no pendejito with Big G credentials can tell me otherwise. More reason to celebrate.

A minor exercise of liberty, but in the end the result of hundreds of victories both major and minor in the struggle for liberty from the abuse of government and corporate power.

A.X. Perez

[Nerds of the world, Unite!!—Editor]


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