Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 733, August 11, 2013

Over the next several years, the most
important issue in American history will
be decided. Freedom or non-freedom.

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

Letters to the Editor

Bookmark and Share

Send Letters to
Note: All letters to this address will be considered for
publication unless they say explicitly Not For Publication

[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!]

Dear Neil:

I still have my Encyclopedia Britannica, wherein it states a skunk has a range of 3.4 meters (or so—I forget exactly how much). What the article DOESN'T state is this: skunks are six-shooters.

I don't blame the intrepid (or foolhardy) person who researched this. He or she went out, found a skunk, got the skunk angry, THEN measured and didn't follow up?

No, I wouldn't either.


Renata Amy Russell
(my dog contributed the repeat offender research)

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Motion Blindness

Forward from Unknown:

For evolutionary reasons, our brains remove stationary things from our immediate field of vision. Moving things represent potential danger. Stationary things do not. That's why the predators and prey alike have learned how to freeze in place. Camouflage and motionless can actually make both predator and prey invisible to one another.

All this becomes a severe liability when flying, driving, or boating when there are moving objects in the field of view which are actually on a collision course with your vehicle, but appear to remain stationary in your field of view.

This is most commonly seen when you are on a highway and another vehicle is coming down an on-ramp at a speed that paces yours. It remains in the same place as viewed through the windshield or side windows.

Your brain will simply erase the other car's image from your view.... until you move your head. This can also occur in your mirrors when a vehicle is overtaking you at a very slow rate. If you simply constantly scan by moving your head or eyes, those important objects will remain visible.

How many times have we heard "I never saw the other car before the accident"? It's real.

Read the story below and then follow the link for an actual demonstration of the effect. It's real, too.

Deliberately develop a habit of constant scanning when you drive and even when you walk.

Motion Induced Blindness

It works exactly like it says and is one major reason people in cars can look right at you when you're on a motorcycle or bicycle---AND NOT SEE YOU.

From a former Naval Aviator: "This is a great illustration of what we were taught about scanning outside the cockpit when I went through training back in the '50s. We were told to scan the horizon for a short distance, stop momentarily, and repeat the process. I can remember being told why this was the most effective technique to locate other aircraft. It was emphasized (repeatedly) to NOT fix your gaze for more than a couple of seconds on any single object. The instructors, some of whom were WWII veterans with years of experience, instructed us to continually "keep our eyes moving and our head on a swivel" because this was the best way to survive, not only in combat, but from peacetime hazards (like a midair collision) as well. We basically had to take the advice on faith (until we could experience for ourselves) because the technology to demonstrate it didn't exist at that time."

Click on the link for a demonstration...

Jim Woosley

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Re: Creating a Culture of Denunciation

Wendy McElroy correctly identifies what is almost certainly being attempted by the ruling class in America. However I suspect it will be a tactic far less successful than it was for the Stasi in East Germany.

"An armed society is a polite society." And guess what? Americans are on average, very well armed. Informing on neighbors is not polite behavior, and may be corrected by a bullet. The day will come when not only state thugs who attempt to arrest a person will find themselves bleeding out on the ground, but also the weasel informant who set them on that person. That's my guess, anyway. Some Americans can be called "Good Germans" I suppose, but certainly not all of them. This kind of behavior is going to see some deterrence.

Paul Bonneau

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Paging Doctor Gungrabber!

Just saw a posting elsewhere about some Florida doctors, egged on by the Traitor-In-Chief and his cronies, trying to get legal authority to force you to tell them about what guns you have in your home.

Or interrogate your kids in your compulsory absence.

I sometimes go to a clinic with decals on its front door barring cell phones, and firearms, and smoking. I ignore them; such a prohibition is not within their rights. I could make a Ninth Amendment argument here about smoking, but I will not. Nevertheless, the clinic is a corporation, and therefore, effectively, an arm of the government, not a private enterprise. It is fully subject to the limits imposed on government by the Bill of Rights.

The medical profession always claims that their prices are so high because of the immense cost of malpractice insurance. If I believed this, I would recommend that they throw the full weight of their not inconsiderable power and wealth behind "loser pays" tort reform. The whole effort would last ten minutes. That's about all it would take.

It isn't any kind of surgery, let alone brain.

Nevertheless, doctors are always buried in lawsuits, and now some of the really vicious idiots among them are offering to double or triple that load by denying you and me (remember the decal on the door) our First (phone) and Second (gun) Amendment rights. Can you say class action civil rights suit?

I thought you could.

In addition, consider the liability involved in preventing someone from being able to defend him- or herself from a mugger or rapist in the parking lot, or from someone breaking into your car, stealing your gun, and killing somebody with it. Who has the deep pockets here?

I like my personal physician very, very much, and I'd be happy to save her and her colleagues a whole lot of very expensive trouble. Guess I'll write up a little notice to doctors (I always meant to do one for Blockbuster, but it's too late now) on the legal and financial perils of interfering with the rights of individuals.

Watch this space.

L. Neil Smith

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Gun-Free Whatevers

No guns = no money

Whenever you see one of those idiotic signs on a restaurant or bar, or, of all things, a bookstore, you should at the very least not patronize the place. What you really ought to do is stand in the door, without entering, and say to the bartender or whoever is in charge (you might have to shout) that it's been nice doing business with them, but that of course it's all over now, as their little sign means they no longer want to do business with you. Or write them a letter saying the same thing. And include this URL. Or both. I found this neat graphic over at Vox Day's site. Go there.

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

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Re: "Black and White Stripes Forever!" by L. Neil Smith

My Dear El Neilbo—

In your witty and erudite missive on the skunk in last week's TLE, you made some vile and entirely false comments about turkeys. And some vile and totally correct comments. I shall now straighten your city-boy ass out.

Benjamin Franklin wanted our national symbol to be the turkey. He regarded it as a noble creature and didn't mean it as a joke. It was one of the few times the good Doctor Franklin was wrong. I knew a farm family once, who tried raising turkeys. If it rained they had to get them under cover, fast. Otherwise, they'd look up, gaping, to see where all that water falling on their heads was coming from, and drown.

Old Ben was referring to the wild turkey—one of the smartest, wiliest, and toughest birds out there. It's feathers, layered as nature intended, will shed a 12 gauge shotgun blast not properly aimed. They can read your mind and leave when they sense your presence. And they can sneak up behind you, gobble to make you jump, then disappear without a trace, laughing their turkey-asses off. Oh, and they can smell your gun. When you DON'T have one, they will cheerfully peck around for food within 15 feet of you. When you have a gun, they won't eat within 100 yards of you. A perfect symbol for a freedom loving libertarian American.

By the thousands.

This is true. Of Domestic white turkeys. Note the qualifier. Domestic Bourbons, heirlooms, and domestic Bronzes, however, are smarter than domestic, but dumber than wild. They can forage for food, survive a rainstorm on their own, and are fairly robust. Thus, these not-white turkeys are a perfect example of the Republican Party's rank and file, and a few of their politicians.

On second thought, maybe Ben was onto something, symbolically. That turkey behavior sounds very much like the American electorate today.

The Domestic White is so fucking stupid they WILL drown in a rain storm. They are too big to breed, and must be artificially inseminated (requiring a truly disgusting act to obtain said semen). They are frail, so damn fat they can break their legs walking, require constant monitoring, and can starve to death if you put their food next to their accustomed bowl, rather than in that bowl. Thus, they are the perfect symbol for the Democrats, and the ideal constituent for all Democrat and most Republican politicians.

Thus endeth the lesson.
Neal Osborn, Turkey afficianado (both as a hunter and a raiser)

To which Mr. Smith replied:

That's gonna look great in TLE!

For future notice, however, I have never lived in a city per se. I am a suburbanite or an exurbanite. Moreover, I have camped, hunted, fished, and generally carried on in western and eastern mountains, southern rain forests, out-and-out swamps, beaches (the most horrible camping there is), islands you could throw a football across, arctic swamps, subarctic evergreen forests, blueberrybogs, and I have learned to make a fire without matches, on top of 12 feet of snow.

You, sir, are a farmer.

L. Neil Smith

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type
Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

I saw this article linked to on the Drudge Report: Chris Christie Signs 10 Gun Bills Into Law (Terror watch list members disqualified from owning guns in N.J.) by CJ Ciaramella

While I don't vote, and so don't care whether I'm being kicked by a left boot or a right boot, I thought about a supposedly smart politician who doesn't seem to realize that it is nearly impossible for a Republican presidential candidate to be elected without the support of gun owners in general. (Individuals, that is. I don't give a hoot what the NRA thinks.) I know that my perspective is warped by having lived nearly all of my life in the People's Republic of Maryland. Maybe something in the water in New Jersey has the same effect on Gov. Christie. (Related joke—Why does New Jersey have so much toxic waste and Washington DC have so many lawyers? New Jersey got first pick.)

Best wishes,

Chris Claypoole

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Smith and May Strike Again!

I thought readers and fans of The Probability Broach in both prose and comic book form, and of Roswell, Texas, possibly the most ambitious undertaking in the history of graphic novels, might be interested to know that a new project is now in the works.

My co-author Rex "Baloo" May and I just had our first discussion with regard to Tunguska Texas, a sequel to both books, that will feature many of the same characters from the Federated States of Texas, and Edward William "Win" Bear, hero of TPB and several other books in the North American Confederacy series.

It appears that both the resulting novel, and the "graphic" version to be made from it, may already have found literary homes. It is estimated that the project will take at least two years to complete. New characters will include engineer-scientist Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler (look her up), designer and builder of the space/time-ship Tondelayo, and famed naturalist/archaeologist Roy Chapman Andrews.

Just thought you'd like to know ...

L. Neil Smith, author, lecturer
Publisher and Senior Columnist
Senior Editorial Consultant
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership


"Any official, appointed or elected, at any level of government, who attempts, through legislative act or other means, to nullify, evade, or avoid the provisions of the first ten amendments to this Constitution, or of the Thirteenth Amendment, shall be summarily removed from office, and, upon conviction, deprived of all pay and benefits including pension, and sentenced to imprisonment for life."

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Free E-Book Just Published

Here is the electronic text of my latest book:

You can download this text and distribute it free or charge. All I ask is that, if you like it, you should buy a hardback copy of the book from here:

Buy a copy for yourself. Buy copies as presents for friends and loved ones, or to give to schools or public libraries. Above all, buy copies to reward me as the writer and to encourage me to write more books like this.

book cover Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects By Sean Gabb Hardcover: £24.99

"We live in a world where Lady Chatterley's Lover is an A Level text, and where documentaries about oral sex are shown on television. Even so, the battle for freedom of speech has not been won. More fiercely than ever in England, it rages on other fronts. There are panics over the promotion of terrorism, and the alleged sexualisation of children. Above all, there is the official war on 'hate.' In the name of good community relations, or simply to protect minorities from being upset, whole areas of debate that once were free are now policed. Dissidents risk punishments that range between formal imprisonment and unemployability. In this set of often controversial, essays, Sean Gabb puts the case for freedom of speech in the changed circumstances of today. His subjects include holocaust denial, the possession of child pornography, the rights of BNP members, and the persecution of Emma West, the South London 'Tram Lady.'"

Sean Gabb

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

I submit, a candidate for the colophon (if that's the appropriate term) of TLE this week:

The old chestnut about conservatism versus liberalism asks if we are a people with a government, or a government with a people. But to Barack Obama, America is an almighty White House with a vestigial legislature, hot-wired to a few big cities, isolated in a dark sea of ignorant flyover-country child-citizens who must occasionally be told fanciful things to keep them under control.

Oops, I should have finished reading the article first. The conclusion is at least as good:

The old chestnut about conservatism versus liberalism asks if we are a people with a government, or a government with a people. But to Barack Obama, America is an almighty White House with a vestigial legislature, hot-wired to a few big cities, isolated in a dark sea of ignorant flyover-country child-citizens who must occasionally be told fanciful things to keep them under control.... If the government is not bound by law, we aren't a representative republic any more, or even a constitutional democracy. We're a dictatorship, in which the dictator occasionally holds ludicrous press conferences to keep his poll numbers from tanking. Why should any citizen of the United States obey a law the President will not obey?


Jim Woosley

[ Actually I call it the "motto"—Editor ]

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Response to L. Neil Smith's article

Re: "Enemies and Friends" by L. Neil Smith

Ok, L Neil, I have to cry a bit of BS on this article:

You wrote in it: **those sick, twisted dregs of sub-humanity who, owing to some horrendously traumatic event while they were being toilet-trained, or a hideously personality-scarring miscalculation during their first date with a real, live member of the sex they feel opposite to, **

Actually, Neil, the traumatic events would pretty much describe me, given that my school experience consisted of repeated (at least a few times every day) physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. And I am 100% in favor of the RKBA. The anti-gun nuts are NOT the ones with the traumas. For the most part, they are former bullies (or the bully's cheerleaders) who grew accustomed in school to their victims being helpless (the teachers would punish their victims for any attempt to fight back), and haven't been able to adjust to their victims possibly being armed in the 'real' adult world.

Those who were actually traumatized thereby learned the value of being able to defend oneself, and what happens when you are not able to do so.

Ann Morgan

Was that worth reading?
Then why not:

payment type

Big Head Press