Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 425, July 8, 2007

"Freedom in trivial things matters too."

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from Albert X. Perez

Letter from Please don't republish my name and address

Letter from Tom Hanlin

Letter from Mike Benoit

Supporting George W. Bush?

Recently W vetoed using federal money to finance stem cell research. The boy was right and here's why:

Stem cell research will be used to pay for research on cures for various diseases, Yay! But the how much of the royalty money for any patentable products or processes will go back to the Feds, or even the universities that will do the actual research? You know, where it could reduce your and my taxes and our kids college tuition.

Instead what will most likely happen is that the companies who actually apply this research will pay a small part of the patent royalties they should if any part at all. They will then claim a large tax deduction for R & D on these processes and products (that our tax money paid for). Then they will charge a high price to cover R & D. Then they will raise the price again because Medicare and insurance is covering our bills to use these products after all. This means our insurance and taxes will go up to pay for a product our taxes already paid for. (Disclaimer: I said much of this in a comment on L. Neil Smith's blog back in January)

This is an example of the abuse of Fed power to enrich and further empower a moneyed ruling class that pushed James Madison away from Alexander Hamilton and led to the creation of Jefferson's Republican Party.

So yeah I support W's decision to veto Fed money for stem cell research. Private enerprise that doesn't pay its own bills but has them paid by tax dollars is socialism of the nastiest kind. At least the buacchaill had the guts to call them on it (and don't be suprised if his fellow Republicans knife him in the back over it politically)!

Albert X. Perez

I have a suggestion. Stop tilting at the electoral windmill for a week, and publicize some of the freedom-creating news and events in the world today. Below are some story leads.

SpaceX is about a year from private transport to orbit:

Ubuntu Linux is good enough now to set up your parents with it, and it's drastically less prone to spyware than anything from Microsoft:

[Or kubuntu for those who prefer KDE over Gnome, or xubuntu for those who want the speeeeeedy Xfce GUI system—Editor]

Ubiquitous opportunistic encryption of Internet traffic can be had on Linux just as soon as someone bothers to wade through the details and turn it on by default in the Ubuntu distribution. I bet if you offered a $5K prize it would get done in a month:

An AR15 receiver can be made on $500 tabletop machine tools from $7 of scrapyard metal. This appears to be legal if you never transfer it:

One Laptop per Child will ship soon. I anticipate the connectivity will create jaw-dropping improvements in education, although it will be called news reporting. How long will colonialism last when 10,000 uncensored reporters are posting grisly street scenes, and anonymous interviews with enlisted men, to youtube each day?

The open-source RepRap rapid prototyping 3D printer is expecting self-replication in 2008, starting from $400 in parts:

This guy built a 5 HP Stirling engine in the 1980's in Bangladesh using manual machine tools equivalent to what a lot of hobbyists now have in their basements. People living in the country could focus tracking solar mirrors on it. City dwellers will have to wait until the thin film organic solar cells show up at dollars per square yard:

The battle for freedom is over, and freedom won. The ultimate in self-defense is the ability to self-supply your entire lifestyle. The State doesn't need to be explicitly displaced; it can simply be ignored, bypassed, worked around, laughed at. We just have to wait it out for another decade while all these technological fruits ripen.

Egypt perfected keeping the middle class down by bleeding them with pyramid-shaped jobs programs. But technology has outrun politics, and soon the middle class will no longer need to work for a living.

Please don't republish my name and address

Re: "Freedom, If You Mean It", by Ulrich Biele

Lovely title. It's a pity it's just a disguise for a poorly-informed anti-drug rant.

Junkies depending on hallucinogenic drugs? Interesting theory, sport, but -- to the best of my knowledge, there isn't a single hallucinogen that is remotely addictive. Speed, sure. Opiates, certainly. Hallucinogens? The phrase "what are you smoking?" comes to mind.

This is really not the kind, or quality, of article that I expect to see in TLE.

Tom Hanlin

Ron Paul campaign is requesting money help to get into larger campaign headquarters. Go here to help:

Mike Benoit

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