Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 736, September 1, 2013

Please don't quit just when we're
almost where we want to be. Just
when we're almost where we need to be.

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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!]

RE: Facebook Blackout, August 25, 2013

I took the opportunity to give FB a little blast in their message pane when I deactivated. (I'm actually still not back. Been kinda busy...) Anyway, I thought it might amuse a few people—although hopefully not the ones at FB.

I am tired of you at Facebook deciding for the users that the expression of some political ideas is unacceptable (namely ones you don't like), and blocking or removing them – sometimes before they can be communicated to anybody. You are running a corporation, i.e. an entity receiving special favours from the US government protecting you from the liability for things you do for which you would find yourselves liable in a free market. This makes you essentially an arm of the US government. This makes you subject to the provisions of the Constitution, and, in particular, to the Bill of Rights, to wit, specifically the First Amendment, which categorically states that Congress - and by extension, all its minions - "shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press." You will note it DOES NOT say "...except if we don't like what they have to say." If you want to act as an arm of the government, monitoring and censoring people's communications, you WILL face the consequences. And this sort of thing is going to be one of them.

I hope other people also expressed themselves over the matter. Maybe it will make no difference, but maybe somebody there who doesn't aspire to be a member of the parasitic class will come across one of them and have his mind opened even a tiny little bit.

Rob Gillespie

The women of this country learned long ago that those without swords can still die upon them.
—Eowyn of Rohan

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Pulse Rifle Manual

At is a full color manual of the M41A Pulse Rifle from the movie Aliens. Derrick Baena who wrote it designed it as an actual weapon to fire standard 10mm rounds as well as the caseless ones mentioned in the movie. Well worth the price. His e-mail is if you are interested. Still hoping he will do new ones sometime soon.

Wes Carr

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Re: my "School Daze"

Before people start screaming and hollering about the following apparent gaffe:

It's lying and telling kids that the 2nd Amendment may or may not grant an individual right to bear arms when Heller and MacDonald say yes it does.

Yes, I know that the Bill of Rights only promises the Government won't mess with your fundamental rights as a condition of us tolerating it's existence. However, if you aren't careful, "curriculum experts" will write into the teachers guide the misinformation that it grants rights. Secondly, given the praxis that "the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means" there is a tendency for people to see the Constitution as granting rights rather than recognizing existing rights.

Correcting this misconception is one reason why I love the Ninth Amendment:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

It clearly spells out that the Bill of Rights is intended to enforce existing rights, not grant rights. Useful hint for people homeschooling and for employees of schools, private and public, who teach Civics and or Government, either as stand alone classes or part of US History and/or generic "social studies" classes.

BTW, the usual examples people give of educational irrelevance is requiring kids to learn the Quadratic Equation (short form: ax2+bx+c=0) and the Pythagorean Theorem ("In any right-angled triangle, the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares whose sides are the two legs (the two sides that meet at a right angle) or

a^2 + b^2 = c^2\!\,

where c represents the length of the hypotenuse, and a and b represent the lengths of the other two sides.). Admittedly I stink at math and in any case rarely if ever use the bits of information. However, to be very blunt, the ignorance of math and science suffered by many voters and office holders is one reason some incredibly stupid things get done in Congress. Commander Heinlein was right.

A.X. Perez

[ Or was it Lt.(JG) Heinlein?—Editor ]

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