Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 666, April 15, 2012

"The Number of the beast
(or not) on a date that
will live in infamy"

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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!]

Letter from Richard Bartucci

Letter from Richard Colwell

Letter from Jonathan David Morris

Letter from Dana Majewski

Letter from L. Neil Smith (to Tatiana Covington)

Letter from Paul Bonneau

Letter from Mike Henderson


Re: What Would Jesus Shoot

As a longtime fan of comedian Chris Rush (the Caucasian guy, not the duskier fellow), I'd have to think that our Blessed Savior might not ever have bothered to embrace firearms ownership for anything more than purely recreational purposes, because (to paraphrase Mr. Rush in his depiction of the Dominican nuns who taught him in parochial school):

"All [He'd] have to do is point to you and say 'Him!'

...and your eye would fall out."

I mean, could you imagine that Finger of God on a combat pistol range?

Richard Bartucci

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Privacy first internet

Nick Merrill wants to create the world's first encrypted internet service provider (ISP) with secure cell phone service that will also legally fight government orders to give up client information. His experience fighting a secret "National Security Letter" to do just that with another company he worked for lead him to this idea. Read the article on CNET here.

He is looking to crowdsourcing the funding to help get it off the ground. The link to that is here.

Consider taking a long, hard look at this and helping if you find his idea worthwhile, even if it is as little as spreading the word!

Richard Colwell

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The Read JDM Newsletter 04.13.12

Friends, we'd like to turn your attention to yet another piece on JDM and the novella, "Versus Nurture," from New Jersey's Home News Tribune newspaper. Here's a link to the online edition.

For anyone who may have missed the write-up on this week, here's a repost of that link as well.

Finally, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to enter to win a free signed paperback copy of "Versus Nurture" from Goodreads.

That's all for now, folks. Have a weekend! (Nope. Not a typo. Just have one.)

Jonathan David Morris
© 2012 Jonathan David Morris

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I have used Ubuntu Linux at work and it seems to be very stable. You may want to take a look at it. I still prefer Microsoft Office (the XP version) to Open Office thought. I don't like the "ribbon" that the newer versions of Office use; it takes up too much screen real estate. I never figured out if you can go back to the old interface.

Dana Majewski

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Re: Mars vs the oceans


> Mars can wait. Oceans can't
> By *Amitai Etzioni*, Special to CNN
> updated 8:26 AM EDT, Mon April 9, 2012

Although I have always been a strong advocate of ocean exploration— reading Arthur Clarke's The Deep Range was almost a religious experience for me in junior high school—I disagree with the major contention in this article (for which it would be useful to have a URL). Getting our species firmly and permanently established in space is vitally important to its survival.

It is the seas that can wait, however regrettably. I am not going to take the word of someone as politically and philosophically screwed up as James Cameron that they cannot. If we enjoyed the prosperity that a truly free society would bring us, we could afford to explore—and exploit—both realms. But then getting our eggs out of one basket wouldn't be quite as important.

If I can find the time and energy (somewhere), I will consider this matter at greater length in _The Libertarian Enterprise_. For now, simply consider that all the world's thermonuclear weapons are in the hands, effectively, of demented two-year-olds. We desperately need to get a significant portion of our gene pool as far away from them as possible, and the bottom of the Marianas Trench isn't far away enough.

Thanks for the heads-up,

L. Neil Smith

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Losing It

Before mucking with the OS like that, back everything up. Then you have a nice fresh backup when the inevitable occurs. No need for panic.

I know, that sounds so smart. I actually was doing the same sort of thing, and the inevitable did occur. No Problemo, just booted puppy linux, got my one terabyte USB drive and plugged it in, opened up a console window, and cut and pasted from the command line I had stored in a readme.txt file (basically "dd" piped to gzip) to create the command to reverse the process. Except I inadvertently cut the carriage return from the end of the line, so that when it pasted it executed before I could edit it and wiped out the restore file I was depending on to reload my hard drive!

I think there must be a god. I can't imagine humans do this sort of thing every day with nothing and no one around to laugh at us for doing it. Surely we must be some being's entertainment.

Paul Bonneau

PS: Really? No Linux is good enough yet? I have been enjoying Arch Linux. But it's really good for someone who enjoys tinkering.

[ No Linux works well on my particular hardware mix of oldish and newish (no driver for my HP 1920 x 1080 monitor for example, making everything look bad). And the hot-spot for the mouse arrow is NOT at the point, but about half-way along the thing's length! —Editor ]

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Your War is a Racket page

On your War is a Racket page chapter 3 and chapter 4 both link to chapter 3. There is a chapter 4, but the index page does not link to it.

About your Losing it article, you use the term looser (freer), but I think you meant to use loser (fool).

Love your site, keep it up.

Mike Henderson

[ Links now fixed. My grip on things is looser, making me somewhat of a loser. Or maybe I just can't speal? Er.... Anyway, now I find that my complete copy of the master file for the Enterprise that is on my USB flash drive is corrupted. Just one thing after another.—Editor ]

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