Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 680, July 22, 2012

"Remember that no matter for whom you vote,
the establishment wins every election."

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Re: "Letter from Chav el Chuco"

I appreciated the letter from Chav el Chuco in TLE #679, making it crystal clear that America's gang problems don't hold a candle to the gang problems in Mexico caused by America's war on some drugs. The solution, of course, is simple. Legalize drugs. All of them. Overnight, drugs will cease to be a lucrative product for organized crime to sell. Instead, they'll be sold at the local mini-mart, like cigarettes and beer and sugar.

To make sure you understand what I'm proposing, I'll include one of my favorite quotes, from Send in the Waco Killers: "This does not mean that 'Marijuana should be available by prescription.' It means that morphine sulfate should be available in five pound bags at the supermarket for a couple of bucks, like sugar... but probably in a different aisle, to avoid confusion."—Vin Suprynowicz

Defund the drug gangs. Legalize. Today.

Bill St. Clair

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I find it sickly humorous that bloviating buffoons in our government are excoriating Syrian president Assad for his actions against his own people. I think Hilary Clinton and her co-conspirators will gain the moral authority to demand Assad's resignation or ouster only when her husband and his former Attorney-General are prosecuted for the assault on the Mount Carmel 'compound' in Waco, TX nearly two decades ago.

After all, there is no statute of limitations on murder.

Bob Gibson

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Dear Editor,

Re: "Open Letter to the People of the Occupy Movement" by Sean Gangol

I want to thank Sean Gangol for his "Open Letter to the People of the Occupy Movement" July 15th Issue. Your perspective, Sean was Spot On!

I watched last year as City Parks and Squares in Downtown San Francisco where "Occupied". I watched as "Protesters" hit their bongs*, then marched for Government attention. ..then stopped traffic then...marched right down to Carl's Jr for burgers, then back to the Occupy Camps, day after day. It was mostly a party and an excuse to be destructive. It was not a movement. I've got bowels that had more "movement" than Occupy.

The biggest event the Occu-Fried (yes, Sean, I made that up) participated in was massing an attempt to stop regular folks from Christmas shopping by marching on Union Square. The marchers claimed, they were "Stopping the Corporate Machine, by strangling their ability to sell their products". Now, had this massive group of idiots all been dressed in donated potato sacks they may have had a case. I watched in disbelief as protestors dressed in some of the most famous brand name clothes sold at Union Square, drinking Starbucks coffee, threw their half drank lattes at SFPD, screamed for Corporations and the Government to "Surrender to their Demands".... then it was back over to Carl's Jr for Fries. They made themselves and San Francisco look ridiculous.

I've worked for the City of SF for 14 years (City Worker, not policy maker) and I know this town and it's politics does not need any help looking ridiculous... but I digress

Sean, Thank You Again.

R. Sheets

* please note I have nothing for or against "hitting a bong" or bongs in general.

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Perez's Query

I do not claim to be the first person to think of this. It is not a great contribution to human thought. It is one we seem to overlook regularly in political discourse:

Perez's query: Am I the only person who has noticed that people who use the phrase "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs," is talking about using stolen eggs?

A.X. Perez

To which Ann Morgan commented

Here's an observation, or rather, a question of my own. So far as I know, not only have I not been able to find any answer to this particular question, but I am the only person to even have asked it.

Here is the data from which I have extrapolated my question: The elites of our world claim that children need to be put (without their consent, btw, which IMHO is a violation of medical ethics) on Ritalin or other drugs which have been shown to permanently shrink brain size, due to their supposedly having various 'diseases' such as ADD, ADHD, etc. I personally think that these diseases are phony, little more than an excuse to perform a chemical lobotomy on as many children from the slave/ taxpayer class as possible, the 'research' done on them would be laughed out of any serious college, since for among other reasons:

1. It lacks certain very necessary control groups,

2. This 'disease' fails the criteria of a disease in that there has been a complete failure to show any physical or chemical abnormality in those who are supposedly 'ill'.

3. The supposed 'symptoms' consist of normal behaviors that certain people merely happen to find inconvenient, or make the child who has them ill suited to a highly artificial and damaging sort of captivity,

4. and unlike every other real disease, there are no historical records of individuals having acquired it in the past.

But let us suppose that ADD and ADHD are, in fact, actual 'diseases' as the elites of our world claim, and that treatment with brain destroying drugs is both desirable and necessary. That being the case, since all children, even those of political elites, are members of the same species, I would expect all children from all demographic groups to be afflicted at a statistically equal rate with these 'diseases', and to also receive the same 'treatment' with Ritalin.

So my question, which as I said, nobody else seems to have even asked, is this:

What percentage of the children of the wealthy and powerful in our society have these 'diseases' of ADD and ADHD, and are being 'treated' with Ritalin, and is this percentage approximately equal to the percentage of children thus diagnosed and treated from the middle and lower classes?

Ann Morgan

[ And there it is, folks. Those "elites" (or "slavers" is perhaps a better term) aren't going to fuck-up (much) their own children, right? Or are they? After all, they're not as bright as they think they are (and we're not as stupid as they think we are, either!)—Editor ]

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Dear Ken,

I thought I'd send you a copy of a LTE I sent to my local paper, the Denver Post, concerning the Aurora Batman shooting. I have to say that, as a libertarian, there's nothing I like better than pissing the right and left off at the same time, and this should do it, if they print it, which they probably won't.

[ Of course they won't—the people who think they own the world and everyone in it absolutely hate free and open discourse (such as the 'net!)—Editor ]

Dear Editor:

Now that the media is giving Aurora Psycho Boy all the attention he desperately craves (but doesn't deserve) we are again going to have leftie dunderheads arguing against their own constitutional rights, as if there were that many left to take away anyway.

As long as the conversation is going to be about taking away Americans' guns, how about focusing instead on taking the guns away from our very own war criminals in several middle eastern countries, who kill more innocent people EVERY DAY than Psycho Boy, and have been for over a decade? Oh, but those peoples' lives aren't nearly as important as those of American Batman fans, apparently, since they don't get even a hundredth of the media coverage.


P. Scott Williams

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Re: "Hillary's Small Arms Treaty Swindle" by L. Neil Smith

Neil, unlike you I am (or was, at least) a lawyer, although I too can read and think. And like your friend Don Kates, if we ever discussed the Second Amendment in my constitutional law class I can't remember it (perhaps I was sick that day), although this is not a Second Amendment question.

But I can dispose of Hillary's soi-disant argument quite simply. The Supremacy Clause does indeed say that the Constitution, federal laws and treaties are "the supreme law of the land." But that merely means that they are superior to any state constitutions and laws; it says nothing about the relative superiority of the Constitution, federal laws and treaties vis-a-vis each other.

If all three were on parity, then none of them could trump any other. However, we already know (thanks to Marbury v. Madison and its progeny) that the Constitution is superior to enacted laws; otherwise the Supreme Court couldn't invalidate unconstitutional ones. And given the order of precedence provided by the Supremacy Clause, I would posit that treaties have the lowest rank of the three, and are inferior to both the Constitution and federal statues. So any treaty entered into by the United States would invariably be inferior to the Constitution and could also be essentially nullified by any subsequently enacted positive law (which by definition would have received the approval of both Houses and the President, which is even more than is required for treaty ratification). At a minimum it would be inferior to the Constitution.

Laird Minor
Simpsonville, SC

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Re: "Hillary's Small Arms Treaty Swindle" by L. Neil Smith

Neil's arguments for why treaties (such as U.N. ones) do not override the 2nd amendment are good ones.

There's another argument I would propose.

Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution says that "...all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land...".

Note "under the Authority of the United States". That means that a treaty is only the supreme law of the land if the United States have the authority to make that treaty. Anything a treaty says that exceeds the authority of the United States is unconstitutional and void.

So consider the notion of a treaty restricting the right to bear arms. Never mind the 2nd amendment, or the 9th, or the 10th. Consider Article 1 Section 8, which enumerates the powers of Congress. Does Congress have the power to restrict the right to bear arms? It does not—no such power is enumerated. (Incidentally, this is why Massachusetts argued, during the ratification of the Bill of Rights, that the 2nd amendment was redundant and did not need to be ratified.)

Next, does the President have that power? Clearly not, because the job of the executive is to execute the laws, not to make them. Similarly, the judicial branch does not have that power.

Since that is all there is to the United States (there are no independent agencies; any "independent agencies" are by definition unconstitutional simply by virtue of being independent), there is no authority of the United States to restrict the right to bear arms, and therefore there cannot be valid treaties that purport to do so.

Paul Koning

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"Why do you really need...."—Why this argument should never be answered.

We hear it every day. Tax and spend liberals ask "Why do you really need to earn over a million dollars a year." Eco-nazis ask us "Why do you really need that SUV or pickup truck." Anti-gun people ask us "Why do you really need a ______________(fill in the blank with the style of firearm that is the flavor of the week to oppose)" Mayor Bloomberg tells New Yorkers "Why do you need a soda larger than 16oz?" And to be honest, ALL these questions deserve one, and only one, answer.

"It's none of your fucking business why I want it."

I am not under any obligation to justify my choices in life to anyone, and neither are you. If you want to eat a tofu burger, I'll never ream you out for it. Want to cram yourself into a Smart-4 Two car? Go for it. I don't mind picking them out of the grill of my F150. (That's a joke, lighten up already!!) And it's none of YOUR business why I want a Colt 1911A1, a Springfield Armory M1A, or a Thompson. But why, I hear you ask, should we never answer the question? It's simple. And I said so, yesterday.

"There is no need to justify what weapons you own. Any more than there is any reason to justify what type of computer you own, what type of book you read, what type of booze you drink, or what the sex is or number of partners you choose to sleep with. By attempting to present disarmers such as yourself with "legitimate reasons" for owning ANY TYPE of weapon, I would be buying in to your argument that there needs to be a reason to own it in the first place. And I do not."

So, the next time some left-wing loon demands to know why you want to own and carry a handgun, or some right-wing religious nutcase asks you why you choose to smoke pot, you tell them "It's none of your fucking business why I want it." Or do it, or whatever. Because the moment you try to "justify it" or "Give a logical reason why you......" you have bought into their logic. You grant that you need a reason to excercise your rights.

So, unless you actually believe you NEED a reason to excercise your rights, don't give'em one. I don't. Not anymore.

Neale Osborn

To Which Richard D. Bartucci added:

Good response.

My own is a question: "What is it that bothers you about what other people do with their own lives?"

This gets the average meddling socialist son of a bitch to maundering about how awful-horrible-nasty-selfish-&-evil are those people who dare to live their lives in ways other than the "Liberal" wants them to do, and that leads to:

"You're just another power-tripping motherfucker who can't leave other people alone, ain'tcha?"

Which is truthful, reflective of the "Liberal" attitude toward his neighbors, and sets his own infamy in a perspective he finds both disquieting and hateful, meaning that he'll never open his yap in your presence again.

Or you could just kick him square in the balls. But that would violate the ZAP, and our Mr. Smith would be disappointed in you.

Richard D. Bartucci

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Help me get justice Richard Dodwyer

Hi, I am Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and if you care about justice and the future of the Internet freedom, Demand Progress and I need your help

This will only take a few seconds, but you can really help us change things for the better.

Richard O'Dwyer is a 24 year old British student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He is facing extradition to the USA and up to ten years in prison, for creating a website——which linked (similarly to a search-engine) to places to watch TV and movies online.

O'Dwyer is not a US citizen, he's lived in the UK all his life, his site was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US. America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil.

The Internet as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement. As citizens we must stand up for our rights online.

Please click here to join me in demanding that British authorities refuse to extradite O'Dwyer, and that US officials cease persecuting him.

When operating his site, Richard O'Dwyer always did his best to play by the rules: on the few occasions he received requests to remove content from copyright holders, he complied. His site hosted links, not copyrighted content, and these were submitted by users.

Copyright is an important institution, serving a beneficial moral and economic purpose. But that does not mean that copyright can or should be unlimited.

It does not mean that we should abandon time-honored moral and legal principles to allow endless encroachments on our civil liberties in the interests of the moguls of Hollywood.

This is but one of several recent attempts by the US government and Hollywood to expand the definition of copyright infringement to include those who simply link to other sites that are accused of housing infringing content.

Please click here to join us in standing up for Richard O'Dwyer and Internet freedom.

Those who are being prosecuted face huge fines, and multiple years in prison. These actions represent an unacceptable attack on Internet freedom—and one of questionable legality.

Congress should act to reign in US prosecutors and protect Internet freedom—and the UK should refuse to extradite O'Dwyer.

Richard O'Dwyer is the human face of the battle between the content industry and the interests of the general public.

Earlier this year, in the fight against SOPA and PIPA, the public won its first big victory. This could be our second.

This is why I am petitioning the UK's Home Secretary Theresa May to stop the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer, and asking the United States to end his prosecution.

I hope you will join me—please click here to stand up for Richard O'Dwyer and Internet freedom.


—Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder

PS—We'll only win if we get as many people as possible to pressure the authorities. Please forward this email or use these links to get your friends involved:

[fb]If you're already on Facebook, click here to share with your friends.

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One last thing—Demand Progress's small, dedicated, under-paid staff relies on the generosity of members like you to support our work. Will you click here to chip in $5 or $10? Or you can become a Demand Progress monthly sustainer by clicking here. Thank you!

I loved the last TLE.

I really loved the article "The Third Article of the Bill of Rights Series—The Second Amendment" by Neale Orborn.

I am burdened by the thought that the article could have had a summary at the top. Something like—

The Second Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

To re-write this in more modern English patterns, the Amendment would state "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State."

While I admire the poetic license that exists in the the Constitution, poetry confuses people, especially people who are conniving to get around the law.

Simple minimalistic statements that cannot ever be misunderstood (written as commands) are how the "Cliff Notes" 0r the 2012 version of the Constitution should be presented to the text-savvy youth of today.\

Barry Smith

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Re: "A Word from the Publisher" (this issue)

Neil, most people have trouble processing raw information in an abstract or mathematical form. That's why economists and statisticians make graphs and pie charts. Consider for instance the equation "X^2=9". Most people can't really mentally visualize that this makes a circle with a radius of 3. Draw it on a graph and they will.

What I am getting at here, is that if these 'coincidences' actually exist, you need to get someone together with all the data, and start graphing the. Show three things on your graph:

1. The date at which a government starts considering anti-gun legislation. Be prepared to show proof, such as government documents or newspaper headlines showing that the legislation was proposed at or before this date.

2. The LATER date of the spectacular shooting.

3. The very shortly later date at which the legislation proposed in 1 is then passed.

Ann Morgan

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Jeez... remember the movie Telephon?
Or Luby's Restaurant in Texas?
Or that schoolbus in Chowchiila, CA?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Renata Amy Russell, Signatory

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