Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 639, October 2, 2011

"9/11 was a private sector crime."

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Letter from Angela Zhang

Letter from Rich Matarese

Letter from Kevin S. Van Horn

Letter from A.X. Perez

[ WTF is this all about?—Editor ]

Dear Manager:

We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Anhui, China. On September, 26th, 2011, We received DATON Company's application that they are registering the name "ncc-1776" as their Internet Trademark and "", "", "" domain names etc., It is China and ASIA domain names. But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check. According to the principle in China, your company is the owner of the trademark, In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!

Kind regards

Angela Zhang

Office: +86 0553 4994789
Fax: +86 0553 4994789

Anhui Office (Head Office)
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Room 1008 Shenhui Building
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Re: "Flash Editorials September 24, 2011" by Russell D. Longcore

Russel D. Longcore writes: "Can't think of a reason why they [the Palestinians] should be prevented from organizing a new nation, and can't think of a reason why the Israelis and DC should have veto power."

One reason why they shouldn't organize "a new nation"—not a matter of being allowed to do so, but it comes under the "Really, Really Bad Idea" category—is that Hamas in the Gaza Strip doesn't appear to have enough control over their nominal jurisdiction to prevent the launching of bombardment rockets into Israel.

When those rocket launches come out of the territories of a sovereign nation called "Palestine," they're going to constitute acts of war under all the usages of international law with which I'm familiar.

Right now, the Arabs in those areas don't have "nation" status. The rocket bombardments being undertaken from the Gaza Strip can be treated as terrorist actions about which Hamas can maintain a tenuous tissue of "plausible deniability."

But with U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood comes responsibilities as well as prerogatives. If the Israeli government decides to interpret the continuation of these rocket attacks as proof of the Palestinian government's determination to wage war against Israel and measures in the United Nations fail to abate these actions, Hamas (and perhaps Fatah, too) might as well get ready to be rolled over by the Israeli Defense Forces and put back under a state of military occupation that the Israelis really have no reason ever to end.

Rich Matarese

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In "Might As Well Vote for Obama" L. Neil Smith writes:

"...the most firmly-established body of facts in science, the process of evolution by natural selection..."

I'm an atheist who considers evolution by natural selection to be by far the best explanation we have for the origin of the varied species... but seriously, now—evolution the most firmly-established body of facts in science? Not even close. For that you have to look to physics, where many theoretical predictions have been verified in repeated experiments to many, many decimal places.

There's a huge difference in the degree of certainty you can get from properly controlled experiments versus the degree of certainty you can get from purely observational studies. Physics has lots of the former; evolutionary theory is largely based on the latter, and necessarily so, as it is a historical science. True, there has been a lot of solid work demonstrating the process of natural selection at the "micro-evolution" level in short-lived species such as fruit flies. This lends a high degree of plausibility to the hypothesis that natural selection drives evolution, but nowhere near the kind of confidence we can have in, say, conservation of mass-energy and conservation of momentum.

Kevin S. Van Horn

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Take a Shot at the Hoop

Rick Perry is annoying the people of El Paso. He keeps running of at the mouth that we're in a war zone when in fact we are the safest large city in the US. In a city of some 700,000 people there were five murders in 2010 (which admittedly was anomalously low), about 15 to date in 2011 (about average). Some war zone. Meanwhile, Austin had 38 murders in '11, other large Texas cities have murder rates comparable more to Austin than El Paso. Comment on Perry's leadership.

The reason Mr. Perry feels he can take cheap shots at El Paso and other Texas Border Cities is the shooting drug war in Mexico. While I won't say there has been zero spill over it is not that big of a problem here in Texas. However, I understand that Arizona does have a problem with spillover. You know, the Phoenix subsector of BATFE has had some spillover, notably the murder of a Border Patrol agent by criminals armed with weapons acquired through Operation Fast and Furious. I am surprised Mr. Perry has not brought up ATF's and Attorney General Eric Holder's contribution to Border insecurity.

In fact, none of the Republican candidates for president are discussing Operation Gunwalker, which is a pity, as they could use it to tear into the current adminstration's incompetence if not total disregard for the law and safety of American citizens. Perhaps it's time they break their silence on Gunwalker, perhaps it's time that those of of who still participate in the political system demand they break their silence. We are talking about an act of war against an ally, an act of racist genocide against latinos, who by the way are a contested voting block, and an effort to deny Americans their rights under the Second Amenment. Why are the Republican candidates for president effectively giving President Obama and his minions a pass on this?

A.X. Perez

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