Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 552, January 10, 2010

"More than anything, America is an idea"

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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 Curt Howland

Letter from Kathryn A. Graham

Letter from Bill St. Clair

Letter from Kent McManigal

Letter from Dave Earnest

Letter from A.X. Perez with reply from Richard Bartucci

Letter from Derek Benner

Letter from Rex May

Another Letter from A.X. Perez

A Message To You From The President

Stand by for an important message to you from the President Of The United States...

Message from President

Curt Howland

Badnarik Update

Found this—it's dated New Year's Eve and attributed to Gary Franchi's FB page:

Michael is doing better. The doctors did the cardiovert today and his heart has good rhythm. The breathing tube was removed, but had to be reinserted. He told me that he felt like he was smothering. He was getting plenty of oxygen but his vocal cords and throat are swollen and it is very difficult for him to breath. He became very agitated so, to make him more comfortable, he was sedated and the tube inserted. His heart is in relatively good condition, considering the severity of his heart attack. It will be a few more days before they try to remove the tube again. He is receiving the cards and e-mails but, as before, please don't call the hospital, as they will not give out any information. I'm doing my best to try to keep everyone informed. Your cards and e-mails, thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

This sounds like good news! It sounds to me as though his breathing problems were caused by some hospital gorilla when his first breathing tube was inserted—or when Michael himself jerked it out, as Michael always had more guts than sense where his own health is concerned. Keep candles burning and fingers crossed.

Note that he is receiving the cards and stuff—keep getting folks to send!!

Kathryn A. Graham
Follow me on Twitter!

[His Hospital has a "click to send a card" feature located at—Editor]

Michael Badnarik's Recovery

Freedom's Phoenix has an article about Michael Badnarik's heart attack with comments on his recovery that are being updated fairly regularly. This is the most up-to-date web source I've encountered.

The latest on 1/5, when I sent this, was from 1/4, from his girlfriend, Lynne. By TLE press time, there will likely be more recent news.

"The doctor was very pleased with the surgery and expects a full recovery. When we left tonight he was still sedated. Hopefully, tomorrow he will be awake for awhile. I am going back home on Wednesday. His friend, Alan, plans to stay until Michael is released and then drive him to Hammond to stay with his parents. It has been a long two weeks."

Bill St. Clair

Announcing two books that you need, because you know the author

Indy-Pindy, The Liberty Mouse—a new childrens' book for freedom loving children, and Kent's Liberty Primer, for their parents.

Hello everyone!

Here is a book that should be on every freedom-lover's bookshelf, in all their childrens' hands, and obviously, given to every disadvantaged child of statists. Indy-Pindy, The Liberty Mouse is exactly the book you are looking for to introduce kids to liberty, self-responsibility, and independence. And I'm only saying that because I am the author and illustrator. [LINK]

But that's only half of the story. I have also published Kent's Liberty Primer. ([LINK]) It is an introduction to the basics of liberty, either for those unfamiliar with the concept (send a copy to "your" congresscritter, a judge, and the president) or for anyone who needs a reminder of why liberty is right and the "alternatives" are wrong.

Here's your chance to lift me out of poverty. Order a few thousand copies of each today, and spam everyone you know with hypnotically irresistible messages to do the same! Whine until your local bookstores agree to stock the book and donate a few copies to local libraries, both "public" and private. I'll be glad you did.

Oh, and if, for some incomprehensible reason, you want an autographed copy, that can be ordered directly from me for the same price in FRNs (payable by Paypal or whatever method we agree on), or for a half an ounce of .999 fine silver for Indy-Pindy or a quarter ounce of .999 fine silver for Kent's Liberty Primer. In the spirit of the free market, you are welcome to pay me more if that would make you happy.

And please, pass this newsworthy item on to anyone else who might be interested.

Thank you very much.

Kent McManigal
Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner

Ausralian Shooter Magazine

You may not know....

An interesting letter in the Australian Shooter Magazine this week, which I quote: "If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington, DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means you are about 25 per cent more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the US, than you are in Iraq .

Conclusion: "The US should pull out of Washington."

Dave Earnest

Re: "Facing 2010" and "The Cure", both by L. Neil Smith

When I was a kid several of my friends and I used to laugh over conspiracy theories. One of our favorites was that there was an army of Red Chinese troops in powder blue uniforms across the Border in Mexico preparing to invade the US. Another was the claim that there were Russian submarines going up and down the Rio Grande smuggling guns to Communist Revolutionaries in Mexico. This one was and is particularly amusing to people who know just how shallow and full of sandbars the Rio is.

Well it turns out the Russian had tractor treaded mini robot spy submarines for scouting out shallow coastal waters. And right now there is a call for UN Peacekeepers, complete with blue berets and helmets, to end the drug wars on the Mexican side of the border. One has to wonder if these Blue Hats will try to cross into the US to cut the flow of illegal guns and ammo into Mexico and/or capture American street gang members whom the cartels have used as muscle in the fighting in Mexico. Would the US Federal government act to protect its citizens on the border or would Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California end up having to fight the rest of the World while Internationalists in Washington applauded. Why bother to secede when you can be abandoned?

The Mexican government tries to rotate its troops on the border before the narcotraffickers can bribe them. UN peacekeepers would presumably have to deal with the same issue. Get some PRC units seconded to the UN and sooner or later you've got Red Chinese troops on the Border wearing Blue Hats, if not full blue uniforms.

"I don't say you're paranoid, Bert. I used to, but not no more."
Tremors 3

A certain evil man came out looking like a genius because the other world leaders of his time chose to act out his paranoid fantasies. He was crushed when they stopped. Dare we look like idiots not preparing for madmen who try to impose their will on us by acting out according to what we thought were amusing fantasies?

"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

"Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends."
—The Declaration of Independence
T. Jefferson et alia

Calls by L. Neil Smith and others to amend the Constitution, vote in elections and so on serve a purpose. There is a danger of (un)civil war in this nation where even more of our wealth is going to taxes than I thought. There is a real danger of states breaking off, seceding or being left behind in the fighting. Those of us calling for using the existing system to try to restore freedom are yelling "Stop or I'll shoot." It is up to our opponents to stop before we mutter " Aah, screw it," and shoot (or more likely, shoot back.).

A.X. Perez

To which Richard Bartucci replied:

On the matter of los narcotrafficantes in old Mexico, the most viable solution is—of course—to decriminalize the Schedule I and II and III substances demonized in our idiot War on (Some) Drugs. Discontinue the government price support program that guarantees high margins for the producers, importers, and vendors of these pop-skull products, let the dopers loose in the candy store, and enjoy the rumpus as natural selection settles out the survivors.

Thereafter, with these chemicals selling as close to the cost of production and delivery as damn-all (don'tcha just love Say's Law?), the gaudy Mexican drug lords will soon be incapable of purchasing ammunition for their bully-boys, and the only killings to be observed along the Rio Grande will be payback for previous violences.

No big money, no bodyguards. No bodyguards and.... So sorry, Jefe. You want protection, you're gonna have to go get yourself arrested, no?

But the restoration of peace and good civil order in Mexico (and anywhere else on this continent) is not the objective of our governing class, that's plain to see. There's no doubt in my mind that the present violent chaos along the border is a carefully inculcated state of affairs, either designed from the start or exploited with ruthless opportunism, but never to be abandoned by our "civil servants" out of a sense of vicious self-interest on their part.

To be perfectly truthful, Al, while I can define the problem and recommend the solution, I have no power to persuade the people of these United States to unwedge their collective head and wipe the stool out of their eyes.

I'm obviously not a "works and plays well with others" type when it comes to addressing what the late H. Richard Hornberger once so eloquently characterized as "the confused wool."

Richard Bartucci

Reply to Curt Howland's letter in the 1/4/2010 issue

I quote from Curt Howland's letter:

R.A.Heinlein said that writers are driven to write. El Neil, Carl Bussjaeger, others who have written books, stories, articles, music, poetry (all of which I've tried, and I suck at it), these individuals have enriched humanity with their works. I am in awe of people who can write.

My sincere hope is that those of us who love to read and those who write can get together, to not think less because of a few spelling errors, to not expect the hobby to pay the bills. As Derek Benner said, to help each other. The big publishing houses have one power that is very elusive: Marketing.

Can "micropayments" and an adjustment to all our expectations take the place of the monopoly grants of copyright? Let's find out what works, for everyone. And maybe by doing so we can release the sequels to Net Assets and Ceres from their cocoons.

Curt Howland

I find myself agreeing with Heinlein. And I believe El Neil and Carl would back me up on this, sometimes a writer's just gotta write!

I also agree that most publishing houses have a clear advantage that self-publishers do—marketing. However, that doesn't have to be the case. Amazon supports 'semi' self-publishing, through their in-house subsidiary, ClearSpace, of trade paperback books. Granted TPBs are larger than the typical mass-market pb, and they cost more, but they're still cheaper, genre-by-genre, than hardcover—and having Amazon provide access for ordering through the Amazon storefront greatly simplifies the marketing process. Yes, ClearSpace books are P-O-D, but while the most basic versions do not give much leeway for layout, the cost to upgrade to a better layout is not out of reach.

Further, there is no editing/layout cost necessary if one goes through Amazon's DTP (Digital Text Platform) and releases one's work as a Kindle ebook. I urge Carl to do so for Net Assets. Heck, I'm trying to get several friends to take a chance on DTP for other SF works. I myself plan to not waste too much time on my first novel (60,000 words and growing), Homebrew. If it cannot find a home after three submissions, I'll first release as a Kindle ebook and as a ClearSpace TPB.

We can all help by being open to buying Carl's book in Kindle format, if he chooses to release it. As we can now get Kindle for iPhone and Kindle for PC apps for free, we no longer need to buy a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks. Please write Carl and urge him to start with DTP and the Kindle format for Net Assets and then go out and buy it! (Going this route, Carl would net 35% of the selling price—which is far better than he'd get from paperback copies from a traditional publisher.)

Derek Benner

A new party is launched.

Not entirely libertarian, but of interest to many of us.

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

Learn from the Enemy

The goal of terrorists is not to liberate. Their goal is to replace the current tyranny with one they finds more amenable (the primary exception being agents provocateurs whose goal is to justify strengthening the current tyranny.). If they cause the government to repress the people more they succeed as this foster rebellion against their enemy and a greater opportunity for their leaders to gain power.

The Underwear Bomber, whom I have described as the Inspector Closseau/Wiley Coyote of terrorism is a successful terrorist as he has triggered repression and thus the tension to overthrow the existing government. I disagree with the man's goals and particular method, the harm and murder of innocents. However, I must admire how even by failing he succeeds.

Those of us who would create a freer, juster, and wealthier America must equal or accede that success rate in everything we do, even simply existing, must cause the bosses to show ever greater respect for freedom, recruit and inform as many people as possible to defend their liberty, and to cover the back of other freedom fighters.

A.X. Perez


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