Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 653, January 15, 2012

"What do you suppose it would it be like, how would it feel,
to spend the rest of the time we two have left in life
without having to struggle against a rogue, feral, criminal
government hell-bent on turning us all into its property
every day, every hour, every minute?"

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Bend Over, Ben & Jerry!
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

You may be old enough to recall a period before Star Trek when Men in Space (this was before we bumped our heads on the word "astronaut"—or on gender correctness, for that matter) had to check for things like temperature, pressure, and atmospheric composition before going outside.

The gauges were often on the arms of their bulky spacesuits.

The acronym "EVA" hadn't been invented yet, either.

Times have changed since then in many ways. One of the most noticable is that whenever you "go outside" these days, it's prudent to test the political environment, if you can. I can never do business with Ben & Jerry, for example, because any given dollar I spend on their products could well be used against me to promote victim disarmament—the view that it's better to see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than to see her with a gun in her hand. The problems is, there are so many like Ben & Jerry, it's hard to keep track.

Now, in the ugly shadow of the National Defense Authorization Act, as well as the ruddy light of an incoming apocalyptic meteor called the "Stop Online Piracy Act", meant to destroy the last remnants of free speech in the police state America has become—and especially after a full century of unrelenting political pressure to strip us of the unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right of every man, woman, and responsible child to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon, rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything, any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission—our old friend Sandy Sandfort, freedom fighter and originator (with Scott Bieser, Lee Oaks, and others) of the spectacular webcomic Escape from Terra has an idea.

A brilliant idea.

In a story written by Sebastian Anthony and dated January 9, on a website called, we are informed of an Android "app" (and this is exactly the kind of freedom of communication SOPA was written to outlaw) designed to warn you if you're about to do business—buy a product or service—from a company that supports the bill. It does this with the aid of another "app" that reads bar-codes on packages.

[a link to that article]

My poor little old Samsung flip-phone has no idea what an "app" is. I have only the dimmest notion, myself. I've seen Richard Castle on HULU make the screen of his smartphone shine forth like a flashlight, and I've seen phones used to display the image of a candle, burning in the darkness, so there will, indeed, be a light over at the Frankenstein place. I saw one with voluptuous breasts that bounced whenever you shook the phone; somehow, I gather, that was consigned to the Mammary Hole.

But I digress.

Sandy's notion—and it appears the same idea occurred more or less simultaneously to our equally good friend Claire Wolfe, Queen of the Hooligan Libertarians—is to broaden the concept into software that warns you if you're about to do business with corporations that don't want you to be able to defend yourself, either from honest, freelance criminals like house burglars, muggers, and rapists, or from runaway governments.

Here's Claire's take on it, dated January 12: [link]

The "app" would adorn the icon representing such a damnable lash-up on your little screen with a big red X, while bestowing, upon those who uphold the highest law of the land, a check-mark in trendy green. When I acquire my next phone (and the Matrixlike cerebral programming that is necesssary to operate it), I guarantee that it will have this capability.

Meanwhile, Sandy has started searching for individuals who have what it takes to make this happen. That includes people who could create the app in the first place, and another echelon consisting of those who would create and maintain the database behind it. Finally, there would be information gatherers—and perhaps a reporting system—to identify companies that are pro-gun, anti-gun, or neutral (not a good thing in my view; how can anybody decent be neutral about the Bill of Rights?).

If you can help, write Sandy, care of Claire, at

An advisory panel of some kind—make that a "Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel"—will probably prove necessary to establish criteria for what qualifies a corporation as pro-gun, anti-gun, or neutral. And after fighting this bloody eternal battle for about half a century (I can't remember exactly how long, but my NRA Life Membership card was printed in cuneiform) that's one thing I feel thoroughly qualified to help with.

Sandy believes that those who do the actual work should share in the proceeds. Claire thinks of it more as a jolly volunteer undertaking. Either way is just fine with yours truly. I just want to see these treacherous mercantilists and their pet politicians blubbering and squirming.

I miss Cherry Garcia&trade, but freedom is worth it.

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