Down With Power Audiobook!

L. Neil Smith's
Number 810, February 22, 2015

Serve your church, your country, your community.
your family, not by invading somebody else's
civilization, but by taking care of yourself.
It's as simple as that. It really is.

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Letters to the Editor

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On "Coal"

Re: "Letter from Kristophr"

Dear Ken,

As you know, I don't often respond to letter-to-the-editor criticisms of what I have written,but in the case of "Kristophr"'s reply to my article "Coal", I think it is called for.

First, Kristphr is right, as far as he goes, and I agree with him. Mining coal is dangerous, and everybody knows it. Nobody ever went down into a coal mine thinking he was going to Disneyland. My teen years were filled with folk songs about the perils of coal-ming, from "Dark As A Dungeon" by Merle Travis, to Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger's song about the Springhill, Novia Scotia disaster. Coal miners are among civilization's greatest heroes, and they're not even shooting anybody or being shot at.

However, just because a thing is dangerous is no reason not to do it. The perils faced by the whalers who once supplied oil to light the nation's lamps—the Declaration of Independence was written by the light of whale oil-- were far greater, and yet they got us through, into the Ages of Petroleum and Electricity (each of which is attended by its own risks). Risk aversion is a symptom of a society in decline.

You may need an explanation of Kristophr's mention of coal as a radiation hazard. You see, anything that comes up from underground is at least mildly radioactive. A Geiger counter on a table at a Congressional hearing on the Three Mile Island incident was clicking steadily along, and it was exolained to the alarmed but uninformed politicians that the radiation was coming from the granite the building was made of.

Hoever, when you concentrate that mildly radioactive material hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of times, in this case by burning off the coal and leaving the nonflammable residue behind, the ash that's left reopresents a problem, and should probably be stored safely as we do with the leftovers from nuclear power plants.

I like nukes, especially the helium-cooled sort we used to have in a nearby county. The French have dozens of them. But they're big, expensive, and prone to government centralization and control, unlike coal. I could build a coal-fired generator in my back yard if I wished.

But liking nukes doesn't stop me from liking coal.

L. Neil Smith

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The Hugo Wars & the Brute Force Left

It appears that the science fiction people are making the same mistake as the herptile hobbyists in sowing the seeds of their own destruction and the destruction of the thing they love. By embracing censorship and politically correct McCarthyism or by letting it happen without raising a finger. I too have noticed over the years that the quality of SF on the shelves has declined aside from reprints of older classic works. I remember also this trend was part of the back story in the Fallen Angel's novel- from Baen- that was described to the fugitive spacemen by the people from underground fandom- who were helping them elude the authorities while trying to find a way to get them back into space.

They said it started with the kind of censorship we have now and eventually morphed into a political culture where science fiction- especially the hard space opera stuff was considered the equivalent of anti-Soviet propaganda that you could be blackballed for at least and maybe even be considered an enemy of the state. Of course Fantasy was still ok because it was about elves and dragons and being kind to the Earth and such- in the words of one of the fans. And when they got the heads up that the green police were coming they rushed to hide all the hard SF paraphernalia along with the two spacemen and tried to pawn it off as a Fantasy convention! And it was kind of funny where the head green cop was nitpicking about a poster that didn't have a NEA—National Endowment of the Arts seal of approval!

It's easy to think about that story on a frigid cold morning where my heating system struggles to keep up and I worry about life imitating art as we now have a government in power that has declared war on our ability to deal with natural perils and our ability to survive.

As for the Brute Force Left- they lost the argument on CO2 in Congress but are using the EPA bureaucracy to shut down power plants and ban wood stoves with rulings on particulate pollution instead of carbon emissions.
They loose the argument but go ahead and do it anyway.

With Greater Appalachia in the deep freeze.
Sub zero last night and only 6 for a high and minus 9 tonite! Talk about a good plan for killing off political enemies or superfluous population. Exposure to these conditions without shelter or heat makes for a great weapon.

Jeff Fullerton

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The censored video about ISIS & Muslims Obama doesn't want you to see


Those of us who care about freedom of speech are generally big fans of the internet and everything it makes possible. Of course with Obama's plans to control the internet, things could be looking like they do in China with rampant censorship. In the US, internet censorship is more subtle, but when something is censored by government or its corporate partners, it is that much more important to pay attention. That is why I'm flattered that one of my recent videos was pulled from YouTube. In order for the internet to realize its potential to change the world, we have to use it conscientiously and it takes effort. That's why I'm asking you to share this video now. We have reuploaded it here:

The Restraint of Muslims (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE)

The message of this video is very important because it puts the scale of violence of the Global War of Terror in perspective. Every American needs to see this. Forward this email so that everyone you know can benefit from this information. This is the video Obama doesn't want America to see!

We've been back in regular production mode with new videos every weekday, so I hope you'll subscribe here. But you know, sometimes you can't get the whole truth from YouTube, so if you're getting this from a friend who forwarded it to you, please sign up for our email list, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.



The Freedom Line 866-612-3359
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PPS We are still working on the tour and waiting for the next print run of books to clear customs. We're also working on a complete new website which will be up soon with info and dates for the tour. Looking forward to seeing you all on the road soon!

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Re: "Protected My Ass—The Bottom Line" by L. Reichard White

Excellent article. I'd only add one vastly important thing not mentioned, at least not directly:

All of this terrorism and threat is made possible because people across the globe continue to believe that non-voluntary government, as well as religious leaders and traditions, actually have legitimate authority to control their lives—even if that control is destructive and deadly.

None of it is possible without the cooperation, if not outright consent—however unintentional or mistaken, of the majority of the intended victims.

None of it will stop until people are willing and able to set aside this dangerous superstition and accept natural authority and responsibility over their own lives and property as individuals.

I am so often distressed to see people who believe passionately that they have an inborn, natural right to self defense—and therefore to the tools required—yet will bow to the bogus "authority" of some government to issue them a permission slip, as well as "regulation" of where, when and how they may exercise that inborn right.

Such cognitive dissonance can lead only to slavery, disaster and death.


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Follow up

Please read this article.

Last week I pointed out that Constitutional Carry bills were progressing nicely in Texas. Lt. Gov. Patrick, alleged to not support CC, had in fact gotten the Senate Bill ( Texas Senate Bill 342) 2015 introduced. The "voices of reason and moderation" had been silent. Then our "friends" shot off at the mouth.

For weeks I've been saying that the best chance to pass CC was for a damnfool Yankee to say something, well, damn foolish that would provoke Texas' state legislators to pass CC out of spite. I had forgotten that all it would take to sink it was a Constitutional Carry advocate to start talking idiocy. The fact is is that unless you are an extremely strong supporter of gun rights or strict Constitutional interpretation CC is scary. Give them a chance to weenie out and a surprising number of legislators will show their inner LOLiP (Little old lady in Pants, thank you Fredrick Forsyth).

This is a matter of simple tactics, when the bills you want passed are before the legislature, and not just in Texas, do not say anything that will alienate its members. It's easy and fun to preach to the choir, but when your bill is on the line you are preaching to nonbelievers. You may not need to convince them, for example in Texas no one is going to get voted out of office for supporting Constitutional carry, might even gain a few. However, no one is going to get voted out for refusing to support a bill being pushed by a big mouth fool, and Texas law makers are proud, accomplished folk that will react negatively to any perception of an effort to bully them. Remember, sometimes it's about being right. and sometimes it's about knowing how to play the game. However right you are, if you screw up politically your side will lose. Politicians talk a lot, and so do people who follow political issues. Sometimes they need to remember when to shut up.

Meanwhile, in a sort of bad news, good news scenario. open carry and campus carry are continuing to advance and stand a better than even chance of passing. Perhaps people exercising these truncated version of their rights will allay the fears of the LOLiP's and Constitutional Carry will pass in 2017. Also, there is still the House version of CC in the works. Maybe victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat.

A.X. Perez

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