Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 580, July 25, 2010

"When you've lost the joy, you've lost the cause."

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Letter from C. Jeffery Small

Letter from The Libertarian Futurist Society

Letter from A.X. Perez

Letter from Brian Singer

Letter from Neale Osborn

Letter from Crazy Al

Slavery -- It's Back In Fashion! What Are You Prepared To Do About It?

Hello Folks:

I've been working on other projects recently, one of which is a major redesign for the blog page at the Go-Galt site -- a slow-going work in progress, due to other commitments. Consequently, I have not been making regular article updates for the past couple of months. I hope to get back to frequent postings later this summer.

However, an important new piece of legislation was recently introduced in the House by Charles Rangel which, if passed, will institute a mandatory two-year conscription for all U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 42, requiring everyone to put their lives on hold while they are forced to perform military, homeland security, or community service work as directed by the whims of the president. This is the final act -- the ultimate goals -- of the totalitarian regime now in power. All other legislation prior to this has been nipping at the heals of our liberty, destroying it by small bites. But this bill completes the task in one blow, enslaving everyone without reservation or qualification, making it clear that our lives no longer belong to us. Instead, we are subservient to the all powerful state and are nothing more than a resource to be manipulated as our masters see fit, in service of any purpose that they may choose.

Over the years, our property rights have been effectively destroyed as the hands of government were allowed to reach deeper and deeper into our pockets to fund an ever expanding array of programs that we do not endorse. Our liberty has been drastically curtailed as our freedom of actions were constrained by the draconian set of regulations imposed upon every aspect of our personal and business lives. The Bush administration was instrumental in undermining our right to privacy with the Homeland Security Act, and during the past year, the Obama administration has launched a number of initiatives intended to eliminate the right to free speech. And now, we have the legislation in hand that will shatter our single remaining right: the right to our life. Should this bill pass, it will be a stake through the heart of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, destroying the final thread of protection that we retain, with the government asserting total ownership over our persons.

I have writted in detail about this bill at [this] link.

Feel free to pass along this link to others whom you believe would find it of interest.

It is my belief that the battle over this legislation is far more important than anything that has come before. This is the tipping point for freedom in this country. If we lose this battle, than no course will remain for liberty-loving people other than armed revolution. Let's not let it come to that. We must act loudly, boldly, and forcefully to denounce this abomination for what it is. Please stand up and proudly proclaim your right to your own life, to do with it as you -- and only you -- see fit. Let the politicians know that you do not recognize their right to one moment of your existence, and that you consider their even discussing a bill such as H.R.5741 to be a treasonous action which undermines the entire intent and purpose of the U.S. Constitution, to which they swore an oath to uphold.

If America has a unique culture, it is one of creativity and self-reliance, built upon a solid foundation of individual rights. That cultural ideal has been under attack for over a century, but never more so than now. As Ayn Rand wrote, back in 1971, "Don't let it go!"

C. Jeffery Small
Running Blog:

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Prometheus Award Winners

The Libertarian Futurist Society will hold its annual awards ceremony for the Prometheus Award during Aussicon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, September 2-6, 2010, in Melbourne, Australia. The specific time and location will be available in the convention program.

The winner of the Best Novel award is The Unincorporated Man, by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books). The Hall of Fame award was won by No Truce with Kings, a story by Poul Anderson, written in 1964. The Kollin Brothers will each receive a plaque and a one-ounce gold coin, while a smaller gold coin and a plaque will be presented to Anderson's estate.

The Unincorporated Man is the first novel publication by the Kollin brothers. It is the first novel in a planned trilogy to be published by Tor. The Unincorporated Man presents the idea that education and personal development could be funded by allowing investors to take a share of one's future income. The novel explores the ways this arrangement would affect those who do not own a majority of the stock in themselves. For instance, often ones investors would have control of a person's choices of where to live or work. The desire for power as an end unto itself and the negative consequences of the raw lust for power are shown in often great detail. The story takes a strong position that liberty is important and worth fighting for, and the characters spend their time pushing for different conceptions of what freedom is.

Poul Anderson's novels have been nominated many times, and have won the Prometheus Award (in 1995, for The Stars are also Fire), and the Hall of Fame Award (1995 for The Star Fox and 1985 for Trader to the Stars). He also received a Special award for lifetime achievement in 2001. This was the first nomination for No Truce With Kings.

Poul Anderson's No Truce with Kings was first published in 1963. Like many science fiction stories of that era, it was set in a future that had endured a nuclear war. Anderson's focus is not on the immediate disaster and the struggle to survive, but the later rebuilding; its central conflict is over what sort of civilization should be created. The story's title comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Old Issue," which describes the struggle to bind kings and states with law and the threat of their breaking free. Anderson's future California is basically a feudal society, founded on local loyalties, but it has a growing movement in favor of a centralized, impersonal state. As David Friedman remarked about this story, Anderson plays fair with his conflicting forces: both of them want the best for humanity, but one side is mistaken about what that is. This story is classic Anderson and, like many of his best stories, reveals his libertarian sympathies.

The other finalists for Best Novel were Hidden Empire, by Orson Scott Card (TOR Books); Makers, by Cory Doctorow (TOR Books); Liberating Atlantis, by Harry Turtledove (ROC/Penguin Books); and The United States of Atlantis, by Harry Turtledove (ROC/Penguin Books). Eleven novels published in 2009 were nominated for the 2010 award.

The other finalists for the Hall of Fame award were "As Easy as A.B.C.," a story by Rudyard Kipling (1912); Cryptonomicon, a novel by Neal Stephenson (1999); and "Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman, a story by Harlan Ellison (1965).

The LFS is announcing the winning works so that fans of the works and the writers can begin to make plans for attending the awards ceremonies. Anyone interested in more information about the awards ceremony or other LFS activities at Aussicon 4 can send email to

The Prometheus awards for Best Novel, Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) and (occasional) Special awards honor outstanding science fiction/fantasy that explores the possibilities of a free future, champions human rights (including personal and economic liberty), dramatizes the perennial conflict between individuals and coercive governments, or critiques the tragic consequences of abuse of power -- especially by the State.

The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (, was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention, the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for each of the winners.

The Hall of Fame, established in 1983, focuses on older classic fiction, including novels, novellas, short stories, poems and plays. Past Hall of Fame award winners range from Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand to Ray Bradbury and Ursula LeGuin.

Publishers who wish to submit novels published in 2009 for the 2010 Best Novel award should contact Michael Grossberg, Chair of the LFS Prometheus Awards Best Novel Finalist judging committee online at or on paper at 3164 Plymouth Place, Columbus OH 43213.

Founded in 1982, the Libertarian Futurist Society sponsors the annual Prometheus Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame; publishes reviews, news and columns in the quarterly "Prometheus"; arranges annual awards ceremonies at the WorldCon; debates libertarian futurist issues (such as private space exploration); and provides fun and fellowship for libertarian SF fans.

A list of past winners of LFS awards can be found on the LFS web site at

For more information, contact LFS President Chris Hibbert.

The Libertarian Futurist Society

Tyranny doesn't Work

Recently I was participating in a debate over whether or not getting rid of gun control laws would make the US more or less safe.I pointed out that if gun control laws worked why was there only one murder by civilians in El Paso where gun control is lax in 2010 and by now 1500 or more in Juarez which has strict gun control laws? The response I got was to say that this was an apples to oranges comparison, that the higher murder rate was a consequence of Mexico's corruption.

Substitute or at least add the word tyranny and I will agree the murder rate in Mexico isn't about guns. It's about stuffed ballot boxes, grave yard votes, extorting bribes from honest men. accepting bribes from criminals, cops guarding rich neighborhoods and abandoning poor ones. It comes from being so sophisticated in the ways of stealing elections that people call you in as an expert to figure out how the other guys did it, sort of like bringing in Jimmy Valentine to figure out how someone cracked a safe.

I'm not naming names here for two reasons. The first is that I do not live in the city where they claim things are so bad that bringing in the National Guard to restore order has been discussed. I've heard stories, but I don't live there. Secondly I have no doubts that other American cities will go the same way soon enough.

As long as politicians choose to hold power by trading welfare benefits and patronage for votes and do so by trashing fundamental natural rights this country's cities are moving towards the model of Juarez.

So, gun control laws are irrelevant at preventing murder. Supporters of gun control have admitted this, at least the one debating with me. But maybe having a government that trashes people's fundamental rights, tries to buy their votes and acquiescence with patronage and welfare, and then steals elections, shakes people down for bribes and collects graft leads to higher murder rates and a general increase in crime. Maybe the City that Claims to Work really doesn't.

A.X. Perez

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Re: "Little Criminals: The Context of Consent" by L. Neil Smith

Dear editor:

I posted the following over on J. Neil Schulman's blog in response to L. Neil Smith's Little Criminals, reprinted there as a guest editorial.

Most of my favorite libertarian thinkers have long advocated a system of private justice, that is to say a voluntary system used by consent of the parties to a dispute. I guess this is what I just don't understand about the anti-IP movement. It almost seems that they would suggest, that in a free society, they would somehow restrict authors and sculptors and mousetrap makers from having access to private non coercive dispute resolution.

Of course that's a non starter. Law would be an issue of custom and property rights and it would fall on the mutually agreed on judge and jury to rule on the merits of each case, both parties having signed a contract before hand agreeing to abide by the decision.

Even absent IP, if tomorrow I released a book called Man, Economy and The State by Brian Singer, I'm quite sure I would be widely thrashed by even the most ardent opponents of IP as being an imposter and a plagiarizer.

Brian Singer

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Re: "The Importance of Image" by Sean Gangol

Sean, you miss the point. The point is, "Why the hell do we allow the enemy (anti-gunners) and their impressions of us to color OUR actins?" Who cares if the media and liberals paint us with a bad brush? They already think us psychopathic criminal revolutionaries. NOTHING we do will change this.

We are standing up for our rights, the way the Founding Fathers wanted us to do (before they started violating the very Constitution and Declaration of Independence they signed). There is an excellent reason TO carry weapons openly to ALL town hall meetings (as well as sessions of Congress, courthouses, town halls, Post Offices, police stations, and any other government function/building we attend. It is to remind them of WHO they get their power FROM, and who can TAKE THAT POWER AWAY BY FORCE IF THEY FAIL TO START EXCERCISING THAT POWER CORRECTLY, IN ACCORDANCE TO THE CONSTITUTION.

So, therefore, I must respectfully disagree with your premise. We MUST support and even encourage people everywhere and at all times to go armed, even in violation of the un-Constitutional laws the various forms of authoritarian assholes have shoved down our throats.

Neale Osborn

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Catch 22 Dude

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, or in other words it is deemed by the government to be easily abused and to have no medical benefits. Researchers who have evidence they have found medicinal use for marijuana are hindered in their research because it is a Schedule I drug. It remains a Schedule I drug because insufficient research on its medical benefits exists. Research to prove what medical benefits marijuana has is hampered because it is a Schedule I drug.

I do believe this situation was created by people who have done too little or too much research on the medical benefits of marijuana.

Crazy Al
Somewhere in Far West Texas

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